“You have got to go through hell before you get to heaven.” – Steve Miller
Most people remember Dante’s “Divine Comedy” by the description of the Inferno, of what we call Hell in modern terms. What most people do not remember, or perhaps never read the poem, forget is that Virgil guides him through the many layers or depths of Hell in order to finally get to Heaven where Beatrice his benefactor resides. The real point her is that Virgil, who is a shade residing in limbo, takes him through the depths of the inferno before he can even get to paradise. I bring this up because maybe Mr. Miller was right, you do have to go through hell before you get to heaven.
Now some people will call this life a living hell, and we are experiencing that right now. I am not sure I believe that, but there is a good point in this consideration. Life is a struggle, and anything that is worth the pursuit will require getting through and overcoming one’s personal demons and/or struggles to obtain a better place in life and perhaps the next one to come. I will not get too theological on you, after all, even Dante put theologians at only the fourth ring of heaven, right above lovers and below martyrs.
Anyway, it is a good point. Struggle, even when they seem really bad, maybe entirely necessary and required for your progression. Someone told me once years ago, be careful when you pray and ask the universe to grant a wish, because it may actually happen. You may not like the process it takes to get you there! Which is why I very carefully phrase myself when I pray for humility!! In fact, maybe that is just a bad idea all together.
Sometimes we will pray for grand things. We may pray to be rich, to be powerful, to be awesome in some way. Keep this in mind. Lets use the example of being rich, just for fun. You are praying to become rich. Lets just assume that all prayers come true (that is doubtful, but just go with me on this one). If they do come true and you actually pray (like you were rubbing a Gin’s bottle or something) to become rich, what would actually happen? Would a giant nest egg of cash come raining down on your head? No, what actually would happen is that you would have to start to change. You have crafted your life to be perfectly where you are at right now. Whatever you have in life, you are perfectly designed to get that exact result. If you are not rich now (in terms of money), and you pray to become so, that would mean some significant and major changes would have to happen to you for that to occur. That will NOT be comfortable, in fact you may call it “hell.”
This state of Hell, as it was in Dante’s poetry, is a necessary step, or a series of steps that you have to go through to rise yourself up out of your carnal state and become something better than you are today.