At a certain moment in the philosopher Nietzsche's life, the idea came to him of what he called 'the love of your fate.' Whatever your fate is, whatever the heck happens, you say, "This is what I need." It may look like a wreck, but go at it as though it were an opportunity, a challenge.
If you bring love to that moment - not discouragement - you will find the strength is there. Any disaster that you can survive is an improvement in your character, your stature, and your life. What a privilege! This is when the spontaneity of your own nature will have a chance to flow. Then, when looking back at your life, you will see that the moments which seemed to be great failures followed by wreckage were the incidents that shaped the life you have now. You'll see that this is really true.
Nothing can happen to you that is not positive. Even though it looks and feels at the moment like a negative crisis, it is not.
A man spoke with the Lord about Heaven and Hell. "I will show you Hell," said the Lord. And they went into a room which had a large pot of stew in the middle. The smell was delicious and around the pot sat people who were famished and desperate. All were holding spoons with very long handless which reached to the pot, but because the handles of the spoons were longer than their arms, it was impossible to get the stew into their mouths. Their suffering was terrible.
"Now I will show you Heaven," said the Lord, and they went into an identical room. There was a similar pot of stew and the people had the same identical spoons, but they were well nourished, talking and happy.
At first the man did not understand.
"It is simple," said the Lord. "You see, they have learned to feed each other."
There is an old Chinese tale about a woman whose only son died. In her grief, she went to the holy man and said, "What prayers, what magical incantations do you have to bring my son back to life?"
Instead of sending her away or reasoning with her, he said to her, "Fetch me a mustard seed from a home that has never known sorrow. We will use it to drive the sorrow out of your life." The woman went off at once in search of that magical mustard seed.
She came first to a splendid mansion, knocked at the door, and said, "I am looking for a home that has never known sorrow. Is this such a place? It is very important to me."
They told her, "You've certainly come to the wrong place," and began to describe all the tragic things that recently had befallen them.
The woman said to herself, "Who is better able to help these poor, unfortunate people that I, who have had misfortune of my own?" She stayed to comfort them, then went on in search of a home that had never known sorrow. But wherever she turned, in hovels and in other places, she found one tale after another of sadness and misfortune. She became so involved in ministering to other people's grief that ultimately she forgot about her quest for the magical mustard seed, never realizing that it had, in fact, driven the sorrow out of her life.
At a turbulent public meeting once I lost my temper and said some harsh and sarcastic things. The proposal I was supporting was promptly defeated. My father who was there, said nothing, but that night, on my pillow I found a marked passage from Aristotle: "Anybody can become angry--that is easy, but to be angry with the right person and to the right degree and at the right time and for the right purpose, and in the right way--that is not within everybody's power and is not easy."
A samurai, a very proud warrior, came to see a Zen Master one day. The samurai was very famous, but looking at the beauty of the Master and the Grace of the moment, he suddenly felt inferior.
He said to the Master, "Why am I feeling inferior? Just a moment ago everything was okay. As I entered your court suddenly I felt inferior. I have never felt like that before. I have faced death many times, and I have never felt any fear -- why am I now feeling frightened?"
The Master said, "Wait. When everyone else has gone, I will answer. "
People continued the whole day to come and see the Master, and the samurai was getting more and more tired waiting. By evening the room was empty, and the samurai said, "Now, can you answer me?"
The Master said, "Come outside."
It was a full moon night, the moon was just rising on the horizen. And he said, "Look at these trees. This tree is high in the sky and this small one beside it. They both have existed beside my window for years, and there has never been any problem. The smaller tree has never said to the big tree, 'Why do I feel inferior before you?' This tree is small, and that tree is big -- why have I never heard a whisper of it?"
The samurai said, "Because they can't compare."
The Master replied, "Then you need not ask me. You know the answer."
Talk happiness. The world is sad enough
Without your woes. No path is wholly rough;
Look for the places that are smooth and clear,
And speak of those, to rest the weary ear
Of Earth, so hurt by one continuous strain
Of human discontent and grief and pain.
Talk faith. The world is better off without
Your uttered ignorance and morbid doubt.
If you have faith in God, or man, or self,
Say so. If not, push back upon the shelf
Of silence all your thoughts, till faith shall come;
No one will grieve because your lips are dumb.
Talk health. The dreary, never-changing tale
Of mortal maladies is worn and stale.
You cannot charm, or interest, or please
By harping on that minor chord, disease.
Say you are well, or all is well with you,
And God shall hear your words and make them true.
By Bill Greer, Chicken Soup for the Veteran's Soul
I was off to go back to work one evening and my two children were busy sewing things on the sewing machine. My eleven year old daughter was, in the midst of her project, going to assist her older brother in making a little cushion. I left, and in a few hours returned to find a mess in the kitchen, front room, and both children sitting in front of the television.
Having had a long day, I was very short with my greeting to them and then I noticed the material my daughter had used. It had been purchased to make a color coordinated baby blanket, and now had chunks cut out of almost every piece of fabric. Not stopping to listen, I exploded at the children and explained how angry I was at what had been done.
My daughter listened to me sheepishly, not trying to defend herself at all, but the pain could be seen written across her face. She retreated to her room quietly, and spent some time in there alone before she came out to say good night and once again apologize for the mistake she had made.
A few hours later, as I was preparing to go to bed, there on my bed lay a beautiful, little cushion made out of the forbidden fabric, with the words "I LOVE MOM". Alongside it was a note apologizing again, and the innocence in which she had taken the fabric.
To this day, I still get tears in my eyes when I think of how I reacted and still feel the pain of my actions. It was I who then sheepishly went to her and apologized profusely for my actions. I display with great pride the cushion on my bed, and use it as a constant reminder that nothing in this world is greater than a child's love.