Week 13 – The bitter salt of pain

An aging master grew tired of his apprentice’s complaints. One morning, he sent him to get some salt. When the apprentice returned, the master told him to mix a handful of salt in a glass of water and then drink it.

“How does it taste?” the master asked.

“Bitter,” said the apprentice.

The master chuckled and then asked the young man to take the same handful of salt and put it in the lake. The two walked in silence to the nearby lake and once the apprentice swirled his handful of salt in the water, the old man said, “Now drink from the lake.”

As the water dripped down the young man’s chin, the master asked, “How does it taste?”

“Fresh,” remarked the apprentice.

“Do you taste the salt?” asked the master.

“No,” said the young man. At this the master sat beside this serious young man, and explained softly,

“The pain of life is pure salt; no more, no less. The amount of pain in life remains exactly the same. However, the amount of bitterness we taste depends on the container we put the pain in. So when you are in pain, the only thing you can do is to enlarge your sense of things. Stop being a glass. Become a lake.”
I read an article recently which talked about how people feel the need to ridicule the positive outlook, the ideas, the dreams or the passions that others pursue, in a negative way.  In life you will no doubt have witnessed toxic people who felt the need to ridicule either one of your ideas or another person’s ideas, causing unnecessary pain which can sometimes also jeopardise long term happiness.

In fact – Every individual who ever advanced a new idea, whether Columbus, Darwin, Galileo, Fulton, Emerson, Ford, Wright Brothers – they all brought us great results by their seemingly silly or ridiculous ideas.  They were all subjected to ridicule or even persecution for their ideas by others, and the objections from others simply displayed their ignorance of what is possible – the human potential and the power of the mind to create seemingly impossible phenomena.

If we fear disaster (and as fear is a powerful form of thought), disaster will be the certain results we get, due to our thinking.  This form of ‘thought’ frequently discards the result of many years of hard work, effort and the death of dreams.
I was always curious to know what way did our great ‘thinkers’ accomplished and advanced all their ideas and outcomes that others ridiculed?
They all concentrated their thoughts on what they wanted to achieve and had such a passionate belief that it would be accomplished, never thinking about what others said or how they disagreed with them.  They were steadfast, they put in the proper effort, which brought about the right circumstances to make their dreams become a reality and which others can all benefit from today.  Ironic eh?

Sometimes though, we find that when we get the outcomes we thought we wanted, they don’t have the effect that we expected.  The satisfaction is only temporary, or possibly even a reverse of what we expected.

What then, how then, are we to think in order to get what we really want?
In fact, what everyone wants at our core, it is my belief that everyone is seeking Happiness and Harmony.

If we can be truly happy, we have everything the world can give.  If we are happy with ourselves first, we can also make others happy.

But
We cannot be happy unless we have health, strength, authentic friends, good environments and a sufficient supply of money to not only take care of our essentials but also to provide those comforts and luxuries which we are entitled to have.
Recognition is the first place to bring about any realisation.
This is a story I found this week that might help with any pain….

An aging master grew tired of his apprentice’s complaints. One morning, he sent him to get some salt. When the apprentice returned, the master told him to mix a handful of salt in a glass of water and then drink it.

“How does it taste?” the master asked.

“Bitter,” said the apprentice.

The master chuckled and then asked the young man to take the same handful of salt and put it in the lake. The two walked in silence to the nearby lake and once the apprentice swirled his handful of salt in the water, the old man said, “Now drink from the lake.”

As the water dripped down the young man’s chin, the master asked, “How does it taste?”

“Fresh,” remarked the apprentice.

“Do you taste the salt?” asked the master.

“No,” said the young man. At this the master sat beside this serious young man, and explained softly,

“The pain of life is pure salt; no more, no less. The amount of pain in life remains exactly the same. However, the amount of bitterness we taste depends on the container we put the pain in. So when you are in pain, the only thing you can do is to enlarge your sense of things. Stop being a glass. Become a lake.”

As a strengths coach, I really connected this to HARMONY

Harmony – is a great strength to have, and not some wishy washy talent, but those who were born with the ‘harmony talent’ can create balance in their lives which can create happiness too.  I’ve witnessed this with people who have this talent, but only if they recognise the tremendous power of this gift.

Those who are able to easily create harmony and use it well so it becomes a strength, will also find happiness too.

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