Originally published in 2012, this is a message I felt bears repeating.
There are times when things do not go as we wish, and often the same difficulties arise again and again in our lives. You've probably experienced such times. When this happens, it's easy to feel stressed and to react with anger, frustration, and other painful emotions. Often, our reactions to these emotions can further agitate our minds, bring unhappiness, and even spur us to do things that worsen the situation.
So what to do? The view of Yoga is to use every situation for our growth toward peace.
The Himalayan sage, Swami Rama, spoke on this very situation: "The keys to growth lie in those relationships and situations that give us the most discomfort. These relationships and situations repeat themselves not out of bad luck, or 'bad karma', but because uncomfortable situations and relationships represent the barriers to our freedom. Freedom comes when we overcome these self-created barriers." From Sacred Journey, by Swami Rama, 1996.
What could he possibly have meant?
One answer might lie in something else Swami Rama suggested many times to his students: "Learn to remain undisturbed in all situations." This might seem like an impossibility, however it is possible to learn how to recenter and calm oneself quickly when the mind becomes agitated. So, even when things go wrong, you are able to quickly return to feeling calm and happy, and in that state you are best able to solve whatever the problem.