During the events that transpire in my novel “Journey of Sorrow, Journey of Hope”, which are set during the mid-1800s in Persia (modern day Iran), a simple peasant woman who expected nothing beyond a toilsome life of servitude, is suddenly thrust by circumstance into a life of extensive travel and adventure. Taught to read, she finds her mind opening to the further adventure of learning, to her search for an understanding of life and the world that accompanies her on her 100-year long quest for personal fulfillment. As the years go by, she finds herself involved not with family and its challenges, but also with the great changes of that period of world upheaval and the royal houses of that era.
Countless souls throughout the duration of history have been victims of circumstance, born into the wrong skin, at wrong place, at the wrong time. Since the dawn of man up until this day, the unfortunate lives of millions of innocent souls all over the world are robbed of a chance at happiness, peace, or hope for a better life, simply for being born into poverty or being born a particular race. Despite this inevitable obstacle, many have still been able to find meaning in their existence and gain a profound understanding of their purpose in the universe. Personal fulfilment transcends race, gender, and socio-economic class- it is a primal desire and achievable goal for any and all humans who are fortunate enough to make the best of their lives in times of poverty, war, or any adversity that the game of life deals them.
Even a peasant woman may be dealt a single trump card in the losing hand of cards dealt to them by life. That one opportunity, standing out among the rest, that may allow a victim of circumstance to seek and find purpose. For the fortunate individuals whose circumstance grant them the blessing of opportunity and a solution for life’s roadblocks, the path towards self fulfillment and understanding of life may be either immensely more achievable or impossibly more difficult depending on mindset, attitude, and outlook on life. The nine to five white collar worker in his cubicle could be lost in a dull and repetitive cycle of meaninglessness with his never-changing life, needing that spark of light to reignite their search for purpose; while the poverty stricken street child finds joy in his hand-made toys and childhood friendships despite living in a desolate squatter community. It truly is all about perspective.
Here are some highly important and inspirational pieces of advice for those currently in pursuit of understanding life and seeking personal fulfilment:
- Make peace with the situation
Now is not the time to blame others for what happened or why you are a certain way. Moping around and feeling sorry for yourself won’t do you any good, and can potentially hinder your ability to come up with ideas and further measures. It’s important to consider what mistakes or misjudgments you may have made. Spend time contemplating what you might have done differently and be responsible for your actions, and contemplate on how to improve the situation and make do with what you can, however you can. Make peace with what has happened, or what always has been. Accept the situation for what it is and move on from it.
2. Remember that adversity brings valuable perspectives.
Adversity is a wonderful teacher. This is your opportunity to gain valuable insights; to learn from your mistakes so that next time you have a better chance of success. You’ll need to indulge in some self-reflection, however. Where did things go wrong and how? Look hard at the preparation and the root cause of the issue. Have you missed something important? Consider the choices you’ve made throughout this adversity, and you overall attitude towards it. Are you ready for the upcoming challenges? Look at your results and focus on areas within your capabilities and tell yourself what else you can do next time.
3. Be compassionate to yourself
Showing kindness and compassion to yourself can go a long way when life knocks you down. Studies show that self-compassion is a key element in the ability of people to overcome adversity and difficult times. Throughout life, mistakes can happen. Don’t be so harsh on yourself! You will never be able to move forward if you focus on the negative. Would you talk to yourself as you would to a good friend who is going through difficult times as you recover from setbacks? If not, it’s time to show a little more compassion for yourself.
With this being said, it is important to remember this one very important piece of wisdom:
The circumstances of one’s birth are insignificant. It is what we do with the gift of life that makes our existence in this universe count.