Once a young man approached a revered teacher, who was seated under a tree near a beautiful lake, and asked for the solution for his unhappiness. After some minutes of conversation the old master kindly instructed the visitor to put a handful of salt in a glass of water and then to drink a few mouthfuls.
“How does it taste?” the teacher asked. “Awful,” said the apprentice after he had spat out the revolting liquid, a few paces away.
The teacher chuckled and then asked the young man to take another handful of salt and put it in the lake. The two walked in silence to the nearby lake and when the youngster swirled his handful of salt into the lake, the old man told him, “Now drink from the lake.”
As the water dripped down the young man’s chin, the master asked him again, “How does it taste?” “Good!” he replied. “Do you taste the salt?” asked the master. “No,” said the young man.
The master sat beside the troubled youth, took his hands, and said: “The pain of life is pure salt; no more, no less. The amount of pain in life remains the same, exactly the same. But the level of ‘pain we taste’ depends on the container we put it into. So when you are in pain, the only thing you can do is to enlarge your sense of things. Stop being a glass and instead become a lake.”
You can become a lake where you broaden your outlook; when you stop looking only at yourself and your own miseries. Look at life as a whole and the many things without which you would not be what you are today — your friends, family, hobbies and nature around you.
When you are confronted with a problem, you see only the problem and bother over it endlessly, which only makes the situation more tragic. Think of previous instances when things were better. Look at all the blessings that God has filled your life with about which you never give a thought. One technique, which helps a lot, is taking a piece of paper and making two columns: problems and blessings. Once this is done, start filling in the respective columns thinking of what all problems and blessings God has given you. Invariably, one will find that the list of blessings is at least thrice as longer than the list of problems. Let this list be a reminder that the good things that have happened to us will always outnumber the problems we face.
Also, one should not compare his negatively with others. You are a unique person and if you have the faith, God will provide what you need. When you have pain in your life, put it in front of God — then it will surely mitigate. Do not try to take the problems head on and put it in front of you, as you cannot see beyond it.
God is infinite. Tap this source, with confidence.
The young man left, and his viewpoint on his problems had totally changed.
As the saying goes:
Don’t tell God how big your problems are.
Instead, tell your problems how big your God is.