To live you must experience suffering
As the Buddhist teachings say, "to live you must experience suffering."
Throughout life, it's natural to endure sickness, injury, tiredness,
and old age. However, when we look at our emotional suffering, such as
loneliness, doubt, frustration, fear, embarrassment, anger, jealousy,
disappointment, etc., these feelings are more difficult to accept. When
we feel upset we often get impatient and want to rid ourselves of these
Many personal troubles involve being preoccupied with wanting something
When we want something and are unable to get it, we feel frustrated.
When we assume someone will live up to our expectations and he or she
doesn't, we feel let down and disappointed. When we become consumed with
fear of what might happen in our future, we push away from the present
moment. Even when we want something and are able to get it, it is
momentary happiness because it is not long before we feel bored and
begin to want something else.
We become consumed with wanting things to be different. It's
But like Buddha said, "the way to happiness is actually
quite simple; the secret is to learn to want what you have and not want
what you don't have".
It is the appreciation of things, and the awareness of their true value
that brings happiness. How many times have you gone to someone's
tastefully decorated home or visited a beautiful country ranch, and
said, "I wish I had this"? We don't need to 'have' something to value
it. As Voltaire, the French philosopher, expressed, "Appreciation is a
wonderful thing. It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as
The problem is we tend to get stuck in defining ourselves by what we are
feeling in a particular moment. Fortunately, feelings are not
permanent. Moods can come and go. Most psychological suffering happens
when we spend too much time and energy focusing on the fears of our
future, on what we don't have, or what we fear we can't accomplish.
Happiness is primarily dependent on how we think about our self and our
life. Luckily, we can revise the things we say to ourself, and shift
our focus so what we think and how we act feels better.
Whenever you feel yourself losing focus and wondering when you'll be
happy next, catch yourself and notice what you are thinking.
thinking is what makes you feel
fearful, or discontent.
Uncomfortable feelings are just as valid as positive ones. Feeling
guilty or disregarding how you feel will keep you in it longer.
Instead, take a breath, bring yourself into the present moment, accept
what you are feeling, and give caring attention to your mood. Then you
can explore what actions you need to take to create genuine feelings of
enjoyment and gratitude in the present moment.
Remember, all we ever have is right now. Take each day as it comes. Have
you ever noticed the grass is the greenest where it is being watered?
In order to create a life that feels good, nurture what you want to grow
with acceptance, patience, appreciation and tender care.