We suffer only when we try to control outcomes and do not accept Life for the way it is.
Last night I received a mail from a reader of my Book – “Fall Like A Rose Petal – A father’s lessons on how to be happy and content while living without money” (Westland, August 2014). He wrote saying that the story of my Life resonated with his own. He thanked me for the strength he gained after reading my Book. He confessed that he had been very upset with his own Life – being out of job, struggling to make ends meet and yet having to pay for his son’s education. He had for a long time held himself responsible and guilty for his “errors in judgment” that had led to his wife and son having to undergo so much stress along with him. He said at one point he wanted to delete his LinkedIn account because he didn’t want to connect with anyone.
Now, what has a LinkedIn account got to do with feeling defeated and lost in Life? Well, sometimes, it has everything to do with feeling depressed. I have been there and felt so too. Not just LinkedIn, you, when you are suffering from loss and failure – despite your best efforts – just don’t want to believe in Life or anyone or any opportunity anymore. You just want to go into a cave and not come out. You prefer the darkness in your Life – and love wallowing in self-pity. Indeed. Sometimes, suffering can, strangely, make you feel comfortable with all your pain and agony.
It is in such times that you must ask yourself the following questions: Is feeling depressed going to help you deal with your Life situation any better? Will ripping down a LinkedIn profile or quitting facebook or not wanting to meet anyone help you solve your problems? Will sulking ever make you happy? If you answer ‘yes’ to any of these questions, then your choosing to be that way is well worth it. But no one can honestly answer ‘yes’ to those questions. The truth is suffering is convenient. It does not require any great effort. Whenever there’s pain, suffering follows. You don’t have to do anything to suffer. Just hate and resist the pain – which is quiet natural again – and you will suffer. But if you want to avoid suffering, you must work on accepting whatever is causing you pain. And that’s a lot of work. That work becomes easier to do when you realize that there’s no point resisting whatever’s causing you pain, or hating the Life you have. Because resisting pain does not make it go away. Accepting it doesn’t make it go away either. But when you accept pain, or any situation in Life, you don’t suffer. When there’s no suffering, the mind is clear and focused. Solutions stand a better chance of emerging from a mind that’s free from clutter and is focused than from a confused, depressed state of mind.
Remember that you can only control your efforts. You cannot control the outcomes of your efforts. So, make all your efforts but accept the outcomes as they are. That’s the way to live free from suffering in Life!