What Are “Hard Times”? How to Face Them?


I was wondering what hard times really mean? Cause I have made it through months I shouldn’t have and I feel as if I am past the point of my own existence. But, the longer Im staying in this physical vessel the more I discover. But, even then the oppression becomes 10x worse, the blessings are 20x better. I was wondering how I should go about this? I heard a lot that hard times are a good thing because if you make it, greatness awaits.

—Zayin, United States


Dear Zayin,

You should go about it in exactly the way you are doing, thinking: “If the hard times become 10 times worse, my blessings will increase 20 times.” In other words: “Everything happens for the best, hard times included”. With this positive and strong attitude they can become a jumping-board to something much better, higher, happier.

The stronger our inner life and our inner connection with God, the less impact any outer hard times will have on us. Hard times can even become a flow of grace for those who take it in the right spirit: taking it from God, serving Him where we can, not worrying about our physical body too much — just as you are doing.

In fact, you seem pretty free. If you feel that you are “beyond the point of my own existence,” your attachment to the body is little. What, then, could ever happen to you?

The best attitude to have, I believe, toward possible hard times, is (from Yogananda): “Whatever comes of itself, let it come.” And “Be even-minded and cheerful at all times.” Pray to God. Trust in your soul.

And be unafraid, as Swami Kriyananda teaches: “Face every trial cheerfully. Don’t shrink from it, but thrust your chest out and accept the test bravely. Remember, you cannot avoid trouble anyway. Trials are like dogs: If they threaten you, confront them with courage and they’ll run away! But if you yourself run away, they’ll give eager chase.”

With such a spirit, what could ever be a hard time for you?

Joy to you, in easy and hard times,