If you’re feeling frustrated with life here’s an insight that might help… but probably won’t.
You’ve got lots of company.
Many, many people are frustrated or otherwise dissatisfied with the state of their lives. I believe this is particularly true in western or “modern” society where people are frequently shown imagery of what a good and satisfying life really is (or so we’re led to believe).
Here’s a question. What circumstances or change would improve the quality of your life? What would really make your life good — great even?
Three common answers to this question are money, satisfying intimate relationship(s), good health. Lots of people believe one of these factors, or a combination of them, would finally make life good and so they pursue these things. If they are unable to attain them, and this sort of failure is not unusual for a variety of reasons, they may become frustrated and resentful.
Let’s see whether I can help in this regard. I will provide you, right now, with a certain method for being entirely content with life; for considering life, even, to be perfect in every way. I will warn you in advance however that this method can be extremely difficult to carry out. So here it is —
Accept life as it is.
This notion will strike many, if not most, as absurd. Most people are convinced that life, and that their life in particular, is somehow wrong and should be different. And how do they know this? Because the mental stories that appear within their awareness tells them so.
But are these mental stories in fact true? Would you be happy if you were rich, or in a relationship, or in perfect health? Are you certain about this? Absolutely certain?
All of us at one point or another have had the experience of believing a story that told us we would be happy if something or other happened, and then something or other did happen and we weren’t happy — or we weren’t happy for very long. Our mental stories are not always true… not by a long shot. Yet we continue to believe them: we whitelist our mental stories and accept them as valid whenever they should come up.
If I had more of this, or less of this, I’d be happy. Or —I cannot be happy without this!
Many of us, myself included, have a core belief that we must make our life the best it can be and that without this effort — without this push — our lives will be unhappy or unsatisfying, or at the very least not as happy and satisfying as they could have been. (Yet another mental story.) So we do push and sometimes we have our desires met and sometimes we don’t. Then we move on to the next push or continue pushing for the desire that wasn’t met.
Is this to say that we shouldn’t pursue desires? I don’t subscribe to such a belief, though some spiritualists do. I believe desire fulfillment, in some cases, can have far-reaching positive impacts. But don’t sacrifice the what is in pursuit of the what will — or may — be.
It can be a fine line to walk: accepting life as it is while also pursuing a goal. It is certain however that frustration or discontent with life comes from not accepting life as it is, or saying no to life as it presently stands instead of saying yes.
Saying no to life in this way is an extremely common human trait. Will you be the exception?