There is a beautiful Buddhist sutra: No suffering, no cause, no end. What exactly is suffering?
Almost all of us have undergone suffering at some time of our lives. Now suppose I ask you, “Why did you choose to suffer? Was your suffering necessary?”
You would certainly find that an absurd question!
Does anyone choose to suffer? You would ask me. Suffering just happens to one, that’s all. It can’t be helped…..
But the truth is, suffering is a choice! For me to tell you that your suffering was unreal would be unfair, and untrue. Because for you, your suffering was real, and inevitable. You never gave yourself the option of not suffering! You didn’t even know you had the choice.
But now, consider the question consciously:
When do you undergo suffering? When you fall ill? When your neighbour gets a new car? When your partner leaves you for someone else?
Well, suppose you decided to just accept these situations without anger or resentment. Would you still suffer as much? After all, there is nothing inherently painful about your neighbour getting a new car!
Even if there is pain in the moment, as when a loved one leaves, you cannot wish it away. By accepting the moment, instead of resisting it, you automatically bring down your level of suffering.
A man who had fallen out of a second-floor window and miraculously survived, was visited in hospital by a friend.
‘Did the fall hurt very much?’, the friend enquired politely.
“Oh no, the fall was totally painless. It was only the landing that hurt!”, replied the man.
As long as you go with the flow, there is no pain, no suffering. When you place your ideas and expectations in the way of life, you create obstacles to that flow. Often, the defenses that you set up to escape pain cause more suffering than the event itself!
After all, how much control do you have over them?
Be your own source of inspiration. Don’t mortgage your happiness to someone else!
Remember, you are 100% responsible for your own happiness.