The Bamboo Story

People are prone to question their fate when faced with difficult times. When misfortune strikes it can be overwhelming and may cause fatigue for life or paranoia about the future. I have faced many battles in my life. I knew hunger and rejection as a child. I have encountered corporate politics,felt burdened with business concerns and have faced the betrayal of soured friendship and bear the obstacles facing single parenthood. There were certainly moments when I felt angry and resigned, but I have learnt an inner strength and know now that I can handle any conflict that comes my way.

I am at peace with myself and with the world. I love my simple routine and predictable life style. I am not provoked so easily and I don’t lose sleep over almost anything.

Many years ago, in the midst of one of my early battles, my Feng Shui Master, Mr Lim shared an inspiring story. He told me to imagine myself as a piece of bamboo.

For each trial I had overcome I would earn another grid on the bamboo. With each grid I would gain strength and resilience. He taught me to be grateful for my problems and the ensuing suffering. If I didn’t face hard times I would be ‘grid-less’. The taller the bamboo grows, the lower it bends. Without grids, a bamboo could not weather storms and strong winds. It would most certainly bend and break.

It was with this analogy that I learnt to face my life differently. We tend to long for a life that presents no problems, yet it is the trials, the sorrow and the disasters that cross our path that give us our strength. The story was simple yet the impact is profound. Now when I am stressed about a situation, I just roll my head back, look up towards Him and sincerely murmur” thank you for the problem.!’ The truth is that I really would prefer not to have to face or combat any further adversity. I was rather relieved to be told recently by a renowned palmist that I need not worry any more. “ You’ve had your last curtain call ”, he said.“ Your ‘drama’ stage in life is over”.

This may be so but I still believe I will need to face the likelihood of health issues as I age. It is something that many find difficult to manage, simply because it seems to be beyond our control. In spite of my current good health I still endure a full medical check up every 6 months. My doctor is bemused to see me so often in such good condition. For me it is important to be prepared and be reassured that I am OK.

Sometimes when everything feels so good and right, I find it necessary to combat my own skepticism.

No problem seems “small” or frivolous if you are involved. Whether it is a divorce, loss of job, a career change, a failed relationship or financial obstacles-there is no escaping a deep sense of anxiety or desperation. I strongly believe that nothing is a“ real problem unless it is a matter of life and death”. When a situation appears unmanageable, you need to question its importance. If it is not a matter of life or death then you will find that the gravity of the problem is less severe than what it appears to be. Under these terms you should find it easier to move on. Strength is an attitude, make yours resolute.

In times of adversity, imagine yourself as a bamboo, ready to gain another grid.

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