When you choose not to suffer in a situation, you will be happy!
The other day, we were at a busy traffic intersection. We were waiting to cross the road. Suddenly a man, who must have been in his ‘60s, charged from behind us and leaped on to the zebra crossing. Shocked motorists forced their vehicles to screech to a halt. The man, unmindful, crossed the road – animatedly, his hands raised, taking long angry strides. All along he was screaming: “I hate him. I hate him. I hate him. I hate him…” He seemed so lost in his anger, in his suffering, that he had no idea what he was doing. All he was focused on was on expressing how much he hated someone. In some time, he was lost in the crowd, but his screams could still be heard over the din of the traffic: “I hate him. I hate him. I hate him…”
Think about it. At what point will someone’s mental equilibrium be vitiated to the extent that he behaves so mindlessly in public, endangering his own Life and causing inconvenience to so many people? This is what suffering can do to you at an extreme.
But clearly, there’s a choice each of us has – to not suffer despite the pain that has been inflicted. Now, how do you exercise that choice? Simple: by understanding that suffering is caused, while happiness has no cause. It simply is!
Suffering follows pain. When you are subjected to pain, you resist that pain. That is a normal, human reaction. When you resist pain, you suffer. So, suffering always has a cause – often linked to a pain factor outside of yourself or your true Self. But, in a way, you cause your own suffering – by wishing that the pain did not exist in the first place. Happiness is, on the other hand, who you are – it is the way of your soul, your true Self. If you choose to accept your pain, as an uncontrollable reality of your Life, there can, and will, be no suffering. And so you will be happy. The essence therefore is that someone or something can surely inflict pain on you, and they can cause you to suffer. But to be happy requires no cause. Happiness merely requires that you stay accepting of whatever comes your way in Life – even if it is intense pain.