it occurred to me a couple of years ago that your attainment or development is best measured during your difficult times. its easy to “be spiritual” when you’re happy or ‘things are going well.’ its easy to offer great advice and be so wise when you’re ‘up.’ when things are difficult, how you respond is the true measure of your spiritual progress. when unpleasant events occur then how are you??? when you can’t make something happen how do you respond? that’s the measure. of course, outgrowing happiness vs. misery and easy/enjoyable vs. difficult is an even greater measure. in the great poem it says “happiness is rooted in misery and misery lurks beneath happiness.” like the yin/yang symbol (supreme pole), one gives way to the other once it reaches its peak. further, like all opposites, you can’t know one without the other. right now, i am miserable. but i have to wait silently to watch and know what to do.