There’s no conspiracy by Life to fix you!

Sometimes the way Life deals with you, can make you conclude that there is a conspiracy to fix you. Therefore, when you ask why something is happening to you, you have triggered off your suffering!
I was talking to a friend the other day. He reported that his business had slowed down, money due to him from various clients was not coming in and he had also lost a couple of contracts. Over and above all of this, his partner had turned cold and was refusing to take his calls and was not paying him his legitimate share of the business profits. “My monthly income has come down to a few thousands, from a few lakh of rupees, in just under a quarter. I don’t know why these things are happening to me. I am consumed by fear and insecurity. I don’t get sleep at nights. I am unable to bear all this suffering,” he lamented.
If you peel away the emotions from what my friend’s faced with, it is all pretty simple: his business is faring poorly and he is not getting enough money to run his Life. Asking why this is happening is irrelevant in the context of what is happening to him. The truth is that whatever is happening is his current reality. And he has to act on it. He must make efforts to both get new business and collect overdue amounts. Now, what happens if he makes those efforts and still does not succeed? Well, even then there’s no point in asking why. He has to try better ways and methods of doing the same thing – promoting his business and collecting his monies.
When you ask why, why me, why me now, in any context, you have invited suffering into your Life. This does not mean you must not examine and analyze any situation. By all means you must. Only an honest appraisal of any situation can lead to specific, pointed action to remedy it. But don’t make the analysis an emotional one. Don’t bring in self-pity, grief, remorse, anger and guilt into the analysis. Don’t bring in God and religion either. Don’t imagine conspiracy theories when there are none! No amount of pining, agonizing and wishing can change what is. If anything can change a situation, it is only sincere, concerted, timely and relevant action. In any situation, therefore, just do your best, and keep trying harder if you don’t succeed the first time. There is no other way.

Suffering arises when you expect things, people, events and circumstances to be different from what they are. Asking why some things happen the way they do or why some people behave the way they do is futile. Things happen so, people behave so, because that is the way it is. When you decide not to suffer and instead accept Life the way it is happening to you, you will appreciate that there is really no conspiracy to fix you. You will then realize that Life, from birth till death, is just series of events and experiences. Your task, in this lifetime, is to flow with Life while learning along the way. It’s really as simple – and choice-less – as that! 

Don’t whitewash Life – See and live (with) the Truth

If you give grief too much space in your Life you are ruining yourself. When things go wrong, there will be grief. But break-free from it after initially comforting yourself in its deceptive bosom. Indeed Grief is comforting – because it feeds your ego. It puts you in the spotlight, at the center of your Universe. But this comfort is at first debilitating and, when there’s too much of it, is fatal. When grief consumes you, it will make you invalid and incapable of enjoying Life, of living fully!
I met someone who is struggling, after a lot of inner turmoil, debate and dialogue, to accept that his 20-year-old marriage is over. He reports that his wife has been seeing someone else for over 10 years now. He also confessed that there was really no compatibility between the two of them from the beginning – they never agreed on anything and found themselves fighting every single day!
“So, what’s the problem? Are you not clear this is not working out? Why are you not moving on?” I asked.
“I am hurting. I am not sure I know why this is happening to me. I am not sure I deserve this,” he replied, fighting his tears.
This friend has been carrying a lot of guilt and grief in him for so many years. Despite the fact that his marriage appears to have been over more than a decade ago, he still refuses to accept it. He’s still asking, in vain, “Why? Why me?”
There’s no point asking “Why” in Life. The whole experience of this lifetime that each of is going through is mysterious, is often bizarre. So, when you ask yourself questions that have no answers you are kidding yourself. And in the hope that you will find some answers, you go on searching. You go on stumbling through Life. You go on grieving. What is, is the only truth in Life. In my friend’s case the truth is that he and his spouse appear to have stopped ‘relating’ to each other long, long ago. What they are presiding over is the corpse of their relationship – their dead marriage! They more he sits around with it, the more grief he will be in. And the more he grieves, the less fully he will live.
This is so true of many of the other situations in Life – wherever we try to analyze Life and find reasons and answers. When people do try to offer us answers, with reasons and justifications, they are only consoling us. But consolations are of no use because they always deal with a “dead” past. Consolations are only an attempt to whitewash Life. Instead if we simply accepted Life for what it is__as it is, as THE Truth__and moved on – we would surely live fuller, richer, happier lives!

Don’t ever ask Why? Simply Try!

‘Why’ is such an easy, impromptu question, that arises ever so frequently in Life. And it invariably comes when things don’t go per your plans or when Life socks you in the eye, catching you unawares, numbing you, shocking you! Often, when the Why question goes unanswered__as all questions posed to Life will__you follow it up with an anguished cry of ‘Why Me?’. You are perfectly justified in asking either question. Because you deserve an answer to what’s going on in yourLife. Perfectly logical expectation. But Life never operates on a logic that you__or I__can or will ever understand. So, ‘Why?’ or ‘Why Me?’ then become the most futile questions ever in Life.

Where does such insensitivity from Life leave you? What should one, who is beaten by Life, then do? Simply, suffer in silence?

The Buddha recommends we try an intelligent solution. He has said this so beautifully. He said that suffering is optional, even while pain is inevitable. His wisdom pointed to an irrefutable truism in Life __ that as long as you are alive, you will encounter pain. But to suffer on account of that pain, is optional. Suffering comes onlywhen we pose questions to Life and resist a situation we find ourselves in.

When people misunderstand you, you feel pained. But you suffer only when you insist that they understand you or when you resist them misunderstanding you. When someone you know dies, there will be pain. But suffering comes when you insist that death should not have happened and when you want that person back, alive, again. When someone cheats you, deserts you, stabs you in the back, there will be pain, but suffering arrives only in the moment you wished that what has happened had not happened. Or when you lose your job or money in your business, there will be pain. But it becomes suffering when you wish you had not lost either. All yoursuffering comes from wishing pain away.

Osho used to tell the story of the great Japanese Haiku poet Issa. When he was only 30 Issa had already lost his five children. Then his wife died and he was almost completely mad — in anguish, in suffering. He went to a Zen Master.

The Zen Master asked, “What is the problem?”

Issa said, “My five children are dead and now my wife is dead. Why is there so much suffering? I can’t see the reason for it. What is the explanation? I have not done anything wrong to anybody, I have lived as innocently as possible. In fact I have lived very much aloof. I’m not very related to people — I’m a poet, I live in my own world. I have not done anything wrong to anybody. I have lived a very poor life, but I was happy. Now suddenly my five children are gone, my wife is also gone — why is there so much suffering, and for no reason? There must be an explanation.”

The Zen Master said, “Life is just like a dew drop in the morning. It is the nature of Life that death happens. There is no explanation; it is the nature of Life. There is no need for any special reason to be given. Life’s nature is like a dew drop: it hangs for a while on a leaf of grass; a small breeze and it is gone; the sun rises and it evaporates. That is the nature of Life. Remember that.”

Issa was a man of great intelligence. He understood it. He came back and he wrote a Haiku. 
His Haiku read:

Life, a dew drop?

Yes, I understand.

Life is a dew drop. Yet… and yet….

Osho, analyzing the Haiku, said the dew drop metaphor explained the transient nature of Life. But the ‘yet and yet’ usage by Issa pointed to the way we humans forget this impermanent quality of Life and how we allow ourselves to be overcome by grief when what we are attached to gets snatched away from us. Indeed. Our attachments bring us grief and that leads to our suffering. But, those like Issa who have been felled by Life’s blow, who have suffered, have always awakened to and understood Life’s transient nature. They have understood that Life is but a dew drop. Here now. And gone in a moment!

So, when you encounter pain remember Issa’s story. Don’t ask Why anymore. Simply accept Life knowing that which is, is. Instead TRY to live with your pain. Initially, your effort may seem in vain. Because pain and you are strange bedfellows. But such is also the nature of Life that, that which you embrace, you befriend, stays with you peacefully. So, over time, with some trial and error, you will learn to accept your pain, your circumstance and learn not to suffer. You will then know that pain, when accepted, does not cause suffering, but, in fact, leads to you to peace!