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Monday, April 2, 2018
Recipe for Dealing with Trouble -Martin Terwel
Recipe for Dealing with Trouble
1. Trouble is an everyday part of life, phenomenon of existence. Many of us are brought up with the concept that everything should be rosy. That's why many people think they themselves have done something wrong when trouble happens to them. It is possible of course that this is true (such as when driving drunk, living unhealthily, etc.) but most often you just can't be blamed for this personally. It is a waste to hurt yourself in this way; trouble is often already bad enough by itself.
2. Trouble can also have positive effects. What I mean by that is the following: When trouble brings you down, the good times of the past can become more precious to you. Moreover, it is possible that, if things get better for you in the future, you will appreciate the experience of them more intensely.
3. You can learn from trouble, so that you will be able to meet them better armed in the future. Moreover you can strengthen in facing trouble, through which process you will get a tougher covering on your soul so that the next trouble will hit you less fiercely.
4. Trouble can be a kind of doorstep. It takes you force and energy to get over it, but by doing this you raise yourself a bit so that you may get more insight.
5.It could be that everything in your life will balance itself out. You measure your trouble against your windfalls and serendipities. The two of them together will make up how you feel. The worse your pain or sadness was, the more intense your pleasure or joy can be. Of course it can be the other way around too. By accepting them, you can give them a place. Also, that acceptance can help make sure that everything in your life will balance itself out according to your experience.
6. Another way to look at trouble is to see it as a short cut. You learn and strengthen fast on such occasions. You don't need to think of them as a loss of time.
7. The intensity in which trouble hits you is often related to your own expectations. In fact, this is quite a simple truth: someone who has no expectations (of life) at all and takes every possibility into account, will be able to accept everything. Seen from that perspective, the next observation might be of some worth too: How could you possibly be disappointed in your life if there is absolutely no way to know what you ought to expect? That's why the combination of humility and resignation is a good one in life.
8. It often happens trouble turns out to be an unexpected good in the long run. A good example would be if you get fired but then find a much more enjoyable job that is a lot better too. Of course this does not mean that if you are in the middle of some kind of trouble, you will always see the next steps coming. However, the knowledge that trouble can turn into an unexpected good can elevate the experience of going over it.
9. Through several experiences in my life (n.b., this is a personal belief) I have gotten a very strong idea that life has a purpose for everyone, although we don't know it ourselves. Reasoned from this view, you can never really find out whether you're doing fine or doing poorly. It could be part of this purpose to be confronted with certain problems. That, of course, does not render them enjoyable. But maybe, knowing this, it can get easier to cope with them. From this perspective it is also interesting to know that it's not about what you want to do with your life, but what life wants with you. The person who is in agreement with this shall see that it is impossible for someone else to find out whether you're doing fine or doing poorly and if you're doing well or poorly with respect to your purpose. Let this knowledge protect you against other people's judgments and blamings.
10. I see trouble as something that could be useful in this life – not simply for an individual personally, but possibly also for all of humanity. It would not surprise me if it turns out that we all make contributions to the development and growth of humanity. From that perspective your fight with trouble might serve the whole of humanity. This outlook can make the experience of trouble a lighter one.
11. Trouble can benefit you by helping you get to know yourself better. Hence, you will make better decisions in the future, because those are based on the (lived-through) knowledge of yourself that you have lived (through). This is better than simply evaluating yourself based on someone else's judgments, expectations and knowledge.
12. Besides a better knowledge of yourself, trouble can give you a better understanding of the people around you. Often you will learn who is truly your friend in bad circumstances. Moreover, you can then discover who is only interested in you if you are doing fine. It is often a sobering experience, but everything taken together, you can come out of it as a richer person.
13. We humans can't understand life. It obeys laws of a higher logic, something higher beyond us. Since we don't know these laws, we can't really find out whether something is good or not. It is therefore entirely possible that certain developments can only be set into motion through trouble. This outlook, too, can change your perception of trouble.
14.Many people who are confronted with trouble feel like that they are losing their way. However, since no one truly knows their way, this is completely impossible, and it is an illusion that you could get lost in life. I see this as a rich thought.
15. Trouble can also presage self-critique and self-conciousness. If you are suffering, you will probably try your utmost to get out of this situation. The more and longer you suffer, the bigger will be the change – and, if you keep responding to tegenslagen in a positive way, - you will develop yourself. As the Dutch saying goes: “The more shit there is, the more beautiful the roses will be that grow on them.”
16. No matter how bad the circumstances you encounter will be, there is always something to look forward to. This could even be death, in the worst case scenario.
17. Suppose you had to pay a lot of money to live on this earth. Wouldn't you try to get the most out of it? Think of a theme park: you pay your entrance fee, and when you're inside, you won't sit down on a bench, thinking of all your sorrows, but you will try to get as much value for your money. By viewing existence like this, you get a richer life.
18. Trouble can keep you humble: an elevated position in life.
19. Every trouble you experience as a problem has to do with a lack of acceptance: a person who can accept everything can't even know what problems are.
20. If you're doing well, that is good for you. If you're not doing well, that state is good for your development. I personally don't really see any difference between you and your development.
21. If you are temporarily disabled by trouble, the time you spent living with it does not have to be lost time, because you will develop some kind of hunger, through which your life will ' taste' richer afterwards.
22. People who encounter trouble often look for their cause, but the causes can always be found. For example: “If so-and-so had not done such-and-such, then this result would not have happened to me.” But you do not always look back far enough. If your parents had not been there, then you wouldn't have been there either, and of course it would not have happened. If you apply this search for reasons consistently, you go even further back: to your grandparents, or even the Creation or Big Bang. Is it necessary to hold God or Nature accountable for what happens to you?
23. Try to make sure that you don't need anything in life or the world to feel good yourself. Seek peace and confirmation in yourself itself and try to avoid making yourself dependent on factors you simply can't influence.
24. Don't get angry at or disappointed by a wrong decision. Wrong decisions simply do not exist. At the very moment you made your decision it was good. The only thing that could happen is that a decision turns out badly, but that does not render your decision wrong, especially since you couldn't have done any better in that very moment, because otherwise you would have done so.
25. You usually learn to spend your money wisely when you lack it. The same goes for life. Someone who has encountered trouble can have a better grip on life, so that the burden of future trouble can be smaller.
26. Everything in life is a matter of time. As time does not truly exist, I do not understand why people make such a fuss about it.
27. Life is made up, materially, in a perfect way. Indubitably this is also the case for the immaterial part of it. The tipping point is in our capabilities of understanding and insight, so try to trust life.
28. Nothing ever goes wrong in nature. As humans we have chosen to denote certain developments as wrong. You could regard this practice as wrong.
29. If something seems to go wrong in one way, it only goes right in another. The trick is to find the other angle. My way of doing this is: By assuming that we are here to learn and strengthen, I can give every trouble a place without losing my peace of mind. “When things seem to fall apart, they only fall together in another way”.
30. I have learned from my experiences (as spiritual counselor and as a human) that there is a certain degree of providence in this life. However, we don't know what the – so-called – plan is. Therefore it is hubristic to be disappointed with this life, because how can you be disappointed if you don't know what the end purpose is?
31. Do not base your conceptions of your happiness or misfortune on comparisons: you compare with your head, but feel with your heart. Moreover, it is the case that a comparison only tells you something about the differences between things, and is not really obliged to tell you anything about the person or situation itself. You can, for example, say that one apartment building is higher than another, but that does not say anything about how high they actually are.
32. Life on earth has all kinds of sides, both upsides and downsides. For whoever does not really want to experience all these different facets of life, the only real option is suicide (n.b. I am not advising anyone to do this). For everyone else, there is no reason to complain every time something unpleasant happens, because that is simply a risk of being human.
33. Life is not all about your experiences. Most of these are simply things that befall you. It is often more about how you respond to these experiences. Even these responses are also things that befall you in some way, being determined by your genes, character, and upbringing. Hence, you are not fully responsible for what befalls you. How you respond to that and the knowledge of that is very interesting. It could be liberating.
My name is Martin Terwel and I live in the Netherlands. I am 60 years old and have been suffering from depression for the past 25 years and used to get regular bouts of psychoses too. It was hard for many, many years without a glimpse of improvement. Things started to change when gradually I developed insights that helped me deal with my condition. It was as if every new insight was a step in the right direction: upwards. I've collated my insights in a kind of recipe which helped to deal with trouble. The recipe has been published in several magazines and online too. It appears that being ill is not necessary to be able to benefit from these insights.