It occurred to me this morning while I was meditating on the nature of things that almost all human suffering is caused by our refusal to accept what is. So let me define this -
Suffering: what I refer to as suffering is a state of mind, not physical pain which has a physical reality all its own, but rather what a person who may or may not be having any real physical pain deals with in life. Suffering has to do with the mental anguish that seems to pervade our world. For example look at the amount of drug abuse in American. A country where people have an excess of almost everything is filled with people who use drugs both legal and illegal to hide their emotional pain. Even rock stars, with fame and fortune often die from drug overdoses. So the suffering that is referred to here is that mental attitude that life sucks that so many people seem to want to believe in.
What is: is simply life. Think about it, but the time you are aware of something that thing, event, thought, whatever it is ALREADY IS. You cannot at that point in time change it, it already is and unless you’ve discovered a way to go back in time you cannot alter what is. You can, if you have the presence to do so, look at what is and take action to change the next moment, but you cannot change the one that currently is as it already is whatever it is.
So how does that translate to human suffering? By losing the one requirement above that is required in order to eliminate suffering we not only allow what is to cause us suffering but we actually encourage it to do so. I had an example just this morning while I sat on the pier meditating. A fisherman came over and commented that the wind was blowing (the wind makes the water choppy and so not good for fishing). I replied that I felt it was a beautiful morning and was enjoying the breeze (I had just finished my walk and the breeze felt good and was cooling me back down). To which the fisherman replied “I’m glad someone enjoys the wind.” in a rather dejected tone. He then turned and walked away obviously unhappy because the wind was blowing. While this is a minor example, the principle is the same regardless of what it is that you are not accepting. Obviously you cannot control the weather but still we allow something that we have no control over to set our mental state and to ruin our day.
Happiness is found in accepting what is and not brooding over what you think it should be. There are times when what is can be altered – so don’t react, accept what is and then take steps to change it if you can. But if its something you have no control over then accept it and let it be. Why make yourself unhappy over something you have no control over?? This is just another mind game to keep you out of the driver’s seat and let ego have it’s say.