It’s very easy to allow ourselves to get upset and jaded over the little things.
When we don’t get what we want or expect we are so quick to give up our happiness and sink into a state of suffering.
Everyone has his or her own favourite flavour of suffering. My question to you is what’s your favourite flavour of suffering? Which energy-sapping emotion do you tend to indulge in most?
Sadness, frustration, anger, despair, self-pity, jealousy, worry?
The specific details don’t matter because they are all states of suffering and all this suffering is just the result of an undirected mind that is fixated on looking for problems.
Think for a moment about a recent situation that caused you pain or suffering of some type. A time when you felt frustrated or angry or worried or overwhelmed or stressed.
Whenever you feel emotions like these your sense of suffering is caused by your undirected mind engaging in one or more of these particular patterns of perception.
Consciously or unconsciously you’ll focus on one of these 3 triggers for suffering:
You become convinced that a particular problem has caused or will cause you to lose something you value.
for example, you might have a conflict with your spouse and it leaves you feeling that you’ve lost love or respect or joy together.
But it doesn’t have to be something that someone else did or failed to do to perceive that sense of loss.
That sense of loss can be triggered by something you did or something you failed to do.
For example, if you procrastinated and now you’ve lost an opportunity you’ll likely feel a sense of suffering. Whenever we believe in the illusion of loss we suffer.
When you focus on the idea that you have less or because something happened you will have less of something you value then you are going to suffer.
For example, you might become convinced that because a situation has occurred or a person acted a certain way that you’ll have less joy, less money less successor some other painful consequence.
Once again less can be triggered by what you do or don’t do or what others do or fail to do.
When you focus on the idea or become consumed by a belief that you’ll never have something you value you’ll never have that same love that same joy, that respect, that wealth, that health that opportunity then you are doomed to suffer. You are never going to be happy, you’re never going to become the person you want to be.
This pattern of perception is a sure-fire way route to pain. Remember the mind is always trying to trick us into a survival mindset. Which is not a bad thing, it’s trying to make sure we survive.
But there is no Sabretooth tiger to run from today so now we get into suffering thinking we’ve lost respect or we don’t have enough money or things that are not really survival at this stage of our lives, it can be resolved!
Never say never. Don’t lie to yourself about an illness or an injury, something that your family member said or did and allow yourself to believe you’ll never get over it, that’s just your mind in fear
These 3 patterns of focus account for most if not all of our suffering. The crazy part is it doesn’t even matter if the problem is real or not! Whatever we focus on we feel regardless of what actually happened.
Have you ever had the experience of thinking that a friend did something horrible or took advantage of you? You might have got really angry or upset only to discover that you were dead wrong?! And the person didn’t deserve all of that blame?!
In the midst of your suffering when all those negative emotions were swirling around in your head it really didn’t matter. Your focus created your feelings and your feelings create your experience.
Notice too that most if not all of our suffering are caused by focusing or more likely obsessing about ourselves and what we might lose, have less of or never have.
Parents will say that they are so worried, so stressed, so angry about their kids but if you dig underneath, they are really angry or stressed with themselves because they feel they’ve failed their kids. They’re really focused on their own failure, that is where the emotion is coming from, otherwise, they would just focus on helping their children.
Here’s the good news, once you are aware of these 3 patterns of focus you can systemically change them, freeing yourself from the habits of suffering. It all starts with the realisation that this is a conscious choice, either you master your mind or it masters you!
The secret to living a happier life is to take control of your mind, this alone will determine whether you live in a suffering state or a happy state. In the end, it’s all about the power of decisions.
Our lives are shaped, not by our conditions but by our decisions. Our decisions determine the direction of our lives and they change our destiny.
So the big question is what’s the biggest decision you could make if you want to change your life for the better if you wanted to change your life right now?
Perhaps the most important decision you’re ever going to make is; are you committed to being happy no matter what happens to you?
Because if you’re not the mind will take over and find things for you to be upset about!