Recently, I have found suffering at the core of my consciousness. Coming up again and again…regarding husband & wife, regarding big company insider politicking, correctness of parenting, unpleasant exchanges of a lawsuit, and then, of course, my own.
And there is one theme that keeps arising amidst the diverse set of circumstance and souls involved in such: Ownership.
Beginning with my own suffering, I find many moments where blame becomes my primary focus. Where the small “I” tries desperately to find temporary relief in projecting my challenge(s) toward another object or person. Coming from that place that is hurt and wants to do anything it can to alleviate the pain. A place that finds itself impossibly far from deeper self-inquiry around such suffering. Yet a truthfully, place near than near, if I can just adjust my understanding ever so slightly.
We all know this place well.
It’s the place where, we say to a friend: “If she would only just ….” Followed by a claim of somehow that other person’s perception, action or inaction will solve our problem.
Ever so misguiding. Especially when our, so-called, friend or family member, blindly agrees without question. Thus, validating your little “I” needs of relief and many times because that person too has same feelings about their situation. And so it festers.
Or how about “ I can’t understand why you just can’t….” when we talk more directly to the person (usually a loved one) casting blame, guilt or hurtfulness in their direction in our feeble attempt to take it off our shoulders. Thus perpetuating the misguided feeling that, again, they are the cause of our suffering. And yet that same person, usually is saying nearly the same words about (or to) you… Who is right? … yep, no one.
And then the internal non-stop repeating play loop of “why did this happen to me” , “what did I do to deserve.. “; “I’ve been so kind, but… “; “If they would just understand my …:; “can’t he/she just be more ___ , then all will be so much better..” Or my own past favorite line to self:
“Why do I always have to do everything… “
I’ll tell you why, because you do (Aaron says to self). Do it. Without is grievance toward the other for not doing it.
Do it. because it’s of no consequence whatsoever.
Do it because you’ll find great joy in it if you stay fully present.
Do it because having the other “do it” won’t make you an ounce happier, and most times less, because the guilt, shame and unanswered deeper calling needed for the real answer of “Why am I unhappy” will deepen your cycle of suffering. For All.
And that is always an inside job. With an inside answer. Once that is answered, one may have the clarity to understand what external factors the true self would like to see changed. But only after that place of inner-peace and groundedness. NOT amidst the storm of emotion, blame and self-doubt. There is nothing to “do” then but hold the ships wheel and stay present to the storm within, find your compass and stay the course on your internal journey… and when the storm passes.. then it maybe time to change sails. Change sails amidst the storm and find yourself overboard drowning in your unanswered self.
And on it goes. The little story “I” tells itself and we get caught in an endless loop of self-defeating thought, that never get’s better and much worse… it wears us down. Makes us harden to life… and those in it. It drives us to a place where our compassion disappears and we tighten, and tighten and tighten that knot of our self-created suffering.
And yet, we also know the truth.
One that is not so deep or far off. One right there. The truth being it is “I” who create my own suffering. Nothing (or no one) more.
To dwell on this… maybe meditate is critical to ending your suffering. To face you’re suffering straight on. Look at it, feel it, let it imbibe your entire being. To know, its not them the circumstance that causes these roller coaster of emotions and self-doubt. To be Ok with it. Ok with the all-consuming anger, the frustration and the sadness that ensues. Own it. it is yours and yours alone. This suffering. And more than anything, it is OK. We all suffer. You, and your suffering, (as the Zen Monks says) “are nothing special”.
Remember, it is our fear that has taken hold of us. In many cases, that fear causes aversion. So we try to simply block it out. Or worse, as I have attempted many times, “Rise above it”. Telling ourselves we are better than that.
NO YOU ARE NOT. You are that suffering. Just like the rest of us. Own it. Face it. Deal with it. Find your peace with it.
The alternative is far worse.
Worse in it destroys your day-to-day ease and joy with life.
Worse at is suffocates your relationship(s) both directly and all around you.
Worse because your conscious carries this burden that blocks so much of the wonderful karmic moments of life waiting for you to open the door.
Worse because your stress, your worry, your anxiety and entire being becomes as smaller than an ant. You start to feel nearly crushed by the inability to “handle it”. The beautiful wonderful self… the one that you truly are, is but glimpse of a glimpse of itself.
With an emptiness, incompleteness, a loneliness, even with a gaggle of friends/family that verbally enable your feelings of “unfair burden”.
You are the cause of your own suffering. Own it. Rely on no one else to solve it. Hit “Stop” on that replay loop before it’s too late. Yes, you are right, it’s never to late. But, please end your suffering so we all can enjoy the real and wonderful you.
Be free once again.