It is so easy to be peaceful when everything is going well. It's when the "shit hits the fan" that your equanimity is tested. My Yogic teacher, Paramhansa Yogananda says that we should be grateful for the challenges we are given. That is not so easy to do. I don't know about you, but when I am going through some trial or I am suffering, I just want it to end asap.
The other night, I was suffering because of intense pain. I have had much pain in my life and so it is not new to me. But I never enjoy it. Anyway, the pain was very intense and I could not sit still. I had to pace back and forth in agony. For anyone who has had a urinary tract infection, you know what I am talking about. The pain and pressure got to a point where I could barely stand it! I cried out to God, "why I am I going through this!" It's funny; I always cry out to God when I am angry. As if it's his fault. Well, suddenly the pain vanished. I have no idea why. And I began to reflect on why we suffer so much. Why do we have "pain" anyway? What a pain it is! I am aware of all the theological answers like; It builds character, It teaches us wrong from right, It is the nature of Yin and Yang, It is part of God's plan, Karma, Fate, Sickness, Being at the wrong place at the wrong time, etc. But what I got out of my meditation is the word "endurance". We have to learn to endure. And that is all you can do sometime in the midst of suffering, is to endure it. Whether we accept it or not, we have to endure it. Webster defines "endurance" as: to last, to abide, to undergo, to tolerate and to bear." "To bear witness!" We are a part of all that is and we have to bear witness to all that is.