We have all been there.
In moments – though they feel much, much longer than moments at the time – of hopelessness, feeling harassed by circumstances and happenings that feel suffocating, depressing and unbearable.
We have all done it.
Ask questions like – why do these things happen to me? Why me? Why now? When will all this end? Why o why?
And we have all done this too.
Search for answers, grope for light, seek for calmness in the middle of the turmoil.
This is what I did that day…through these words of the Mother. Words that I must remind myself every time I am in one of those moments or ask those questions.
Words that speak of Hope and sincerity, Optimism and patience, Perseverance and progress, Elimination and purification. Words that feel like Truth, because they are true.
“This comes back to the question why the adverse forces have the right to interfere, to harass you. But this is precisely the test necessary for your sincerity. If the way were very easy, everybody would start on the way, and if one could reach the goal without any obstacle and without any effort, everybody would reach the goal, and when one has come to the end, the situation would be the same as when one started, there would be no change. That is, the new world would be exactly what the old has been. It is truly not worth the trouble! Evidently a process of elimination is necessary so that only what is capable of manifesting the new life remains. This is the reason and there is no other, this is the best of reasons. And, you see, it is a tempering, it is the ordeal of fire, only that which can stand it remains absolutely pure; when everything has burnt down, there remains only the little ingot of pure gold. And it is like that. What puts things out very much in all this is the religious idea of fault, sin, redemption. But there is no arbitrary decision! On the contrary, for each one it is the best and most favourable conditions which are given. We were saying the other day that it is only his friends whom God treats with severity; you thought it was a joke, but it is true. It is only to those who are full of hope, who will pass through this purifying flame, that the conditions for attaining the maximum result are given. And the human mind is made in such a way that you may test this; when something extremely unpleasant happens to you, you may tell yourself, “Well, this proves I am worth the trouble of being given this difficulty, this proves there is something in me which can resist the difficulty”, and you will notice that instead of tormenting yourself, you rejoice—you will be so happy and so strong that even the most unpleasant things will seem to you quite charming! This is a very easy experiment to make. Whatever the circumstance, if your mind is accustomed to look at it as something favourable, it will no longer be unpleasant for you. This is quite well known; as long as the mind refuses to accept a thing, struggles against it, tries to obstruct it, there are torments, difficulties, storms, inner struggles and all suffering. But the minute the mind says, “Good, this is what has to come, it is thus that it must happen”, whatever happens, you are content. (Collected Works of the Mother, Volume 4, pp. 353-354)
What is Hope? A bright light shining through where all seems dark and dreary, when all seems hopeless.
An oscillation between hopelessness and hope is what our ordinary experience is mostly about. There are days we feel so full of hope, optimism and a quiet feeling of assurance that all is well, and all will be well. And then there are days when we just don’t know how to let go of this persistent feeling of doubt, despair and hopelessness.
Maybe it is this oscillation that keeps us real and grounded in this relative realm where the chaos and mess of every-day life can at times be overwhelming and over-powering. Perhaps if we can somehow grow in our acceptance of this simple truth that the length of the shadow is only as real as the movement of the light, maybe we can then learn to see this oscillation as part of the inherent beauty of this worldly existence of ours….just like the dance of light and shadow.
Perhaps if we can begin to see and recognize all this as an ordeal of fire meant to purify…