Why life can be difficult. Here are just three reasons for pause and reflection (amongst many of course).
1) Expectation. This is actually force-fed. I can imagine that the life of a nomad with no titles and estate to his name would be less complicated than a person living in this modern age. The seduction of status, wealth and power is endless and universal. This materialistic world will always remind us that there is more to life than being contented with what we have. The American dream has become the wet fantasy for many. We all expect great things and want it early in our lifetime. We cannot wait. We also do not want to labor too hard for it. If the relatively unknown can strike it big almost overnight, we can do it too. Easy cash, fast cars and swift fame have transformed our lives into an expectation-addicted society. We pitch our expectations to a cosmic-wagon. The bubbles will of course burst one day; even sooner than we think. And the majority of us will experience one disappointment after another. It is a reality we may not recover or learn from because one deflated expectation will readily be replaced by another even more deluded and elastic one. This vicious cycle will go on until one day we learn to accept and embrace our present reality instead of hoping for an alternate reality fueled solely by our wishful thinking.
2) Competition. If life is a race, then the starting point is our birth and the finishing line is our death. This money-driven society will never let you forget that. The moment you are born, you are placed on the assembly line to go through stages of accelerated learning and maturity. The hoops you have to jump through are numerous and your preparedness for them is secondary to what is expected of you. The expectation is mechanically processed to disregard your own pace of growth and learning in favor of the indiscriminate pace of meritocratic overdrive and materialistic conditioning. So, you have to make a run for it before you can even walk - to borrow an analogy. Again, you are a creature of this modern society; a product of a fast-paced, competitive society. You may of course slow down to savor life more deeply but many will unfortunately see that as an unproductive lag rather than a much deserved rest. And because the mark of success is mainly the tangible like money in the bank, academic excellence, high-society recognition and financial prominence, you will feel alienated when you fall short of the mark. The competition to shine is therefore incredibly intense. And the pit-stops in this race is but a transient rest for you to recharge in readiness to go faster in the next lap. It is therefore not a time for you to take stock and reflect, and possibly leave the racetrack to carve out your own pathway. This is one of the reasons why life can be difficult. And the difficulty is this neurotic need to catch up with the one ahead of you regardless the cost.
3) Unforgiveness. This makes life more than just difficult. It makes it a perpetual uphill climb; a Sisyphus task. So, we have to let go (for our own sake). There is no other way to live our life. There is no better advice. The journey will be self-sabotaging if we nurse hatred in our hearts. Nothing is in fact more damaging than to allow hate to overstay and fester. I know the deeper the cut, the harder the healing. But an open wound left to rot with time is far worse. Hatred and unforgiveness will not be satisfied with performing second-fiddle in our life. Sooner or later, they will demand their majority stake. They will want full control. This is where they will start to define you. Everything you think or do will be ruled by it. Hatred will grant you the illusion of control so that it can perpetuate its hold on you. This hate will consume you most gradually unless you resolve to let it go. Forgiveness is the start of this emotional eviction (or spiritual detoxification). It will take time of course. But it is worth it. We are born with hands clasped. Let's leave with hands open. And the reward for forgiving is the freedom to live a life of authenticity and the enduring joy that comes with a peace of mind. Cheerz.