5 Easy Ways to Recognize When You’re Creating Your Own Suffering
Most of life’s problems, in and of themselves, do not create suffering. Rather, it is the judgements that we make of our circumstances, situations and the relationships we find ourselves in that creates the suffering we experience. I think it’s safe to say that no one wants to experience suffering so the real challenge then is for us to be able to recognize when we are creating suffering for ourselves out of our daily experiences in life.
To do that I’ve come up with 5 easy ways for you to identify when you’re more agreeable to your continued suffering than you are to your peace of mind.
1. To start with, you must first understand that it is the mind that creates suffering, not the real you. So who is this mind that chooses suffering? Is it me or is it not me? The answer is both. You are both the one that creates the suffering and the one that observes the creator of the suffering. To become aware of these two versions of who you are is the first step in understanding how to end your suffering.
Imagine that you are in a movie theatre watching a film on the screen. The part of you that creates the suffering is the projector that is showing the film. The part of you that observes the film is the real you, the one that is free of suffering. To know the part of you that is free of all suffering you must first become aware of the you that is watching, the you that is projecting the suffering you experience.
2. Once you are aware that there is two of you and that one of you lives without suffering while the other one feeds on suffering, the next step is to understand why a part of you would choose to suffer.
What is suffering but a choice to be unhappy? While the ego mind will tell you otherwise, your happiness can only be lived in the present moment. So suffering is what arises naturally when you live your life outside of the present moment.
3. Now that you know you wish not to suffer and that suffering only exists outside of the present moment, the next natural step is to become rooted in the now. For it is only in the now that who you really are can be known. The ego mind which creates suffering exists only outside of the present moment. To live in the now is to live without ego. Have you ever noticed that when you’re suffering about something in your life it’s always about the past or something in the future that has not yet happened?
Therefore, anytime that you become aware of your suffering you can simply ask yourself, where am I? If you are anywhere but the present moment, suffering is sure to follow but if you choose to return your awareness to the present moment once again, the pain and suffering will disappear.
4. The challenge now becomes not so much about whether to suffer or not but how to willing surrender to the present moment and let go of the ego mind’s addiction to being in control. The part of your mind that creates suffering is limited, whereas the part of you that is real is infinite. Your infinite Self can only be known in the present moment and because of this the ego mind must force you to live outside of the present moment where it can control you through it’s tactics of fear, lack and limitation.
When you lose sight that you are in fact two people, both the one that is creating and the one that is observing the creator, your limited self with try to convince your infinite Self that dwelling on the past or obsessing about the future is a priority. Without a strong rootedness in who you are as your infinite Self, the limited small self will gain control once again and have you living in the pain, fear and suffering that can only be found in the past and the future. Until you can discipline yourself to return again and again to the present moment, the ego mind’s need to return to the past or future will be felt like an addiction.
You may find yourself struggling with states of anger, fear, self-doubt, depression and rage as you judge everything and everyone in your life, including yourself, and attack what you see based on it not being what your mind has convinced you that you require to be happy. Only when you can see through the illusion that is anything other than the present moment, will your suffering no longer exist.
5. And lastly, once you know that to truly live without suffering you must commit to living in the present moment, the final step is to see all that is not peace as suffering. Here you are asked to willingly surrender all that is not for your peace of mind for in the truest sense anything that is not for your peace is against it and therefore an attack on what you now know is your only lasting source of happiness.
In any given situation that you find yourself falling back into a state of suffering you can ask yourself, am I willing to surrender everything that is not for my peace in this moment? If the answer is yes then you will find your attention easily returns to the present moment and to the acceptance that who you really are is an infinite being with no need to dwell on the past nor a need to speculate on the future for your peace can only be found in the now.