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Difficulties

Difficulties are things that show what men are.
—Epictetus

How often we see in our everyday life people who under trying circumstances “come out strong” we say! They rise to the occasion. We all meet large difficulties much better than small ones; and is it not because we have our principles ready at such times? We feel the necessity of the case.

We should have our principles ready for use on every occasion. — Epictetus

Different people have different causes of complaint. One is unhappy because he is not understood by his family. Another has to live in uncongenial surroundings when he has refined taste. Another is sick. Another has bad servants. Another has troublesome children. Now what is really the matter with all these difficulties? They are nothing unusual. We find the same problems to solve in every civilized country and among all people. The difficulties are really first-class, genuine difficulties.

“The cause of all human evils is the not being able to apply general principles to special cases.”

Then we cannot find fault with them. When we are children, we think as children, we speak as children, we act as children; but is it not time for us to put off our “swaddling clothes,” in which we can only creep, and to stand erect, realize the divinity within us, our oneness with God or the unchanging law of Good ? If each of us could realize for one moment the divinity within, we never again could be overcome by difficulties.

There are no difficulties to one who has grown to a consciousness of himself as a soul. All things are put under his feet. He “uses his powers” for the purpose for which he received them. Then, no matter what comes to you, have your principles ready, and apply them. We say. How beautiful this teaching is! I accept it all. Belief does nothing. You can believe it from now on; but, unless you get the spirit of it and use it, your progression in spiritual awakenment will not be apparent in this incarnation.

But are we not souls? Are we not filled with divine love and wisdom? Can we not meet every difficulty in life, either large or small, in the right spirit, letting the difficulty lead us to a higher and nobler purpose in life? Forget the self, and realize that each one of us is a soul. What can we not do if we keep this in mind?

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Katharine H. Newcomb

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