When I was a kid and my toy got broken, I ran into the arms of my mother.
When I got bullied at school, I went straightway to my father.
Sometimes, when both my parents didn’t get me things I wanted, I asked my grandparents for it.
When the fear of exams overpowered me, I spent sleepless nights in the books.
To stay away from trouble as a freshman in college, I became the shadow of my friend who was strong enough to resist.
After my first breakup when nobody could bear being with me or even understand, I considered it to be the end of my world and spent days begging her to fix things up between us.
When having a successful career became my strongest desire, cigarettes and alcohol were an escape from the tension.
I now realise what a fool I have been all this time.
What I was seeking outside, was always there on the inside. A support, a refuge, was all i wanted all this while. I was searching for drops of happiness and peace, but there was an ocean of them right inside me all along.
When I did get supported, it would help just for a short while. It made my situation easy at first and then the same struggles would return.
But now I know the permanent cure, and I want to share it with everyone I know.
I wish everyone to be at peace. On every face, I dream of a beautiful smile.
At the early stages when we are not mature enough to understand the nature of our suffering and the cause of our suffering, we seek refuge wherever feels comfortable. But as time passes and we grow older, instead of understanding the root cause, we stick to the temporary refuge and try avoiding the problem instead of facing it.
But since we only had a temporary cure for the problem, it arises again and again.
For example, many people after going through a bad breakup, start drinking too much to forget about it and escape the pain; they seek refuge in alcohol. As a result, they don’t get over the breakup but instead make things worse for themselves. The same goes out for people lost in drugs, gambling and even for those chasing material desires all their lives.
What is it that we seek?
We all want happiness. The feeling of satisfaction is what we truly desire from within our hearts. In our search for it, we go from one relationship to another, one car to another, one job to another, one apartment to another, one city to another—some of us even keep switching from one country to another.
Where do we go wrong?
There is nothing wrong with wanting happiness and we make attempt after attempt to find it. But the thing is, we assume things like relationships, jobs, possessions, to be the source or the very cause of happiness. But they are not.
Yes, we do experience happiness and a sense of satisfaction through these things but that feeling lasts for short time and eventually it subsides. There is always a better job than the one you have. There is always a better apartment or a better car or a better thing than you have now. All of this is impermanent and so is the happiness caused by them. Off course, we cannot rely on temporary things to cause everlasting effect. It is poor quality happiness, unreliable and short-lived.
What is the root cause of all our problems?
The root to all our problems is our fundamentally mistaken view of the reality. Our mistaken idea that people or things give us inner satisfaction. We rarely doubt, whether or not we see things as they really are. And without analysis and reflection, we remain stuck in a rut of our own making.
Most of us are never taught to reflect on our inner self. Our mind is the most precious gift that we are blessed with. In fact, it’s the very thing that separates the human race from rest of the creatures on this planet. But the irony is, humans die without even being introduced to their own self, to their own mind.
What is the cure?
Yes, there exists everlasting, stable happiness and the good thing is, everyone has the potential to experience it. The cause of happiness lies within our own mind and the methods for achieving it can be practiced by anyone, living in any part of the world, in any lifestyle. It doesn’t matter whether you are living in a city, or some countryside, whether you are working eight hours a day or twelve. Since, we all have got a heart and mind, we all face similar problems—which also means we can use similar solutions.
When we get sick, the first thing we do is consult a doctor. The doctor then studies the symptoms, the effects and then diagnoses the problem providing appropriate medication as a cure. The same works for our life. The sickness is our suffering and the doctor is our own mind.
When we have a problem or we feel emotionally upset, we can sit down and calm ourselves. Then, taking a step back from our thoughts and emotions, we can actually try to understand what’s going on. When we reflect on the thoughts going through our mind and the emotions arising due to those thoughts, we’ll develop a correct understanding of the way things are.
Gradually, we can eliminate those thoughts, feelings and ideas that cause ourselves and others unhappiness and in their place cultivate thoughts, feelings and ideas that bring happiness and peace.
Author: Ankur Gandotra
Image: Video Still
Editor: Travis May