Buddhist Values for Facing Difficult Times

23 May, 2020
Some Buddhist values are directed at facing difficult times. According to them, it's best not to try to go against the current, but to be flexible. This way, the solution itself is born from the adaptation and optimization of your resources.
 

Coping with difficult times requires more than goodwill and attitude, although they definitely help. As you know, life doesn’t come with a script you can follow. Contradiction, deficiencies, and unsatisfied desires are elements of the everyday landscape. One of the traits of neurosis is thinking that only you have problems. Continue reading to learn some Buddhist values that can help you in difficult times.

Buddhists have a different way of looking at problems. Unlike Westerners, they don’t insist on denying them and they don’t try to get out of them as soon as possible. Their attitude is more adaptive, which is why they have different values when it comes to facing difficult moments.

Situations vary and it’s a different thing to deal with a cell phone that doesn’t work than to deal with a divorce or with the death of a family member. However, Buddhists think that both situations are an opportunity to develop indispensable skills that can help you face difficult situations later on. Continue reading to learn more about them!

Buddhist values for facing difficult times

1. Flow with the current

Do this, especially if the current is strong. An intelligent way to face difficult moments is not to oppose them. People often spend too much energy trying to avoid the inevitable under adverse circumstances.

Acceptance is a major step when it comes to solving a problem but you must also recognize its limits. Admit that things are what they are, even if they don’t align with your wishes. This acceptance keeps you from misplacing effort and gives you a more realistic and positive perspective.

 
A woman feeling the wind.

2. Look inside, a beginning to face difficult moments

You may try to find an explanation for complicated situations on external factors. And while it’s true that many difficulties are influenced by factors beyond your control, you alone get to choose your response.

There’s always something you can do in any given situation regardless of how difficult it may be, particularly in your inner world. Thus, try to answer the question of how to make some space for those difficult experiences so they don’t poison you. Do so before you start looking for culprits or accusing fortune of turning its back on you.

3. Every mistake or deprivation involves learning

In order to confront your difficult moments, try to stop considering them undesirable and deserving of eradication. On the contrary, extreme ease or comfort does nothing but puff you up oftentimes.

A difficult situation is always an opportunity to learn, either about yourself or about your external reality. Pain reveals new facets of your life, of your interior, and of those around you. Thus, you must learn to appreciate it.

4. “Whatever will be will be” is one of the Buddhist values

 

Everything that happens is the result of multiple factors that have come together to make it so. Just as no major triumph comes without a reason, neither does difficulty or loss arise just because. The world is as it should be for the most part.

The here and now is the result of what happened yesterday. Each fact and each human being are the fruits of everything that precedes them. Therefore, whatever will be will be, nothing less and nothing more, only what should be. If you can visualize facts from that perspective, you’ll be able to better accept and integrate them into your personal story.

5. Right here, right now

Difficult situations are an opportunity for change. There may be a mistake or a wrong perspective or an action that resulted in the problematic situation you’re currently experiencing.

Therefore, it’s best to bring about change within yourself right here and right now. Don’t wait for the storm to pass before taking any necessary measures to confront it. It’s precisely in the midst of a storm when you must mobilize your resources to deal with it.

A man by the sea.

6. Another of the Buddhist values is to find your way to laughter

 

Laughter is the best antidote for hopelessness and pessimism. It has much more value in those moments when all the doors seem closed or when the problems seem to overflow your capacity to assume them.

In such situations, laughter comes as a blessing. It’s likely that it won’t just spontaneously arise and, therefore, you must seek and find it. Just think, what makes you smile? Figure it out and go there.

7. Don’t be a victim

Victimization gives a certain joy to those who use it. Although it seems to have many benefits, it doesn’t. This is because it means giving up your aspiration to assume total control and trying to implement effective coping strategies with any resources you might have.

As you can see, victimizing yourself only contributes to your difficulties and reduces your autonomy. It doesn’t solve anything in the long run and contributes to your stagnation instead. Furthermore, it isn’t a reasonable option because it’ll only limit you in the long run.

The most important thing about the above Buddhist values for facing difficulties is that they constitute healthy criteria to promote patience, reclaim your own power, and tolerate any bad times that may come your way. They’ll definitely bring out the best in you.

 

Varela, F. (2010). El fenómeno de la vida. Comunicaciones Noreste Ltda.