After being transferred to a big metro city, Suresh could only manage to find an accommodation of one room apartment. His entire family was visibly unhappy about this small accommodation. Therefore he decided to complain about his misery to an old man, who was widely revered as a wise man. The wise man advised him to do something, and assured Suresh of his happiness.
The wise man asked him to keep and take a good care of four newly born puppies lying in his backyard. Suresh objected but the wise man insisted upon this. The wife of Suresh was furious at this atrocious advice. But, since the advice came from a widely revered and enlightened soul, Suresh carried out his instructions. With four puppies sharing the small space of his one room apartment, he and his family felt even more suffocated. After a few days of suffering, he approached the wise old man. The enlightened soul could easily sense his uneasiness and told him to leave those puppies back in his backyard. Suresh was ever willing to obey this instruction. Suddenly, he felt exceptionally relieved and realised that his small one room apartment was actually very comfortable.
We usually do not appreciate what we have. We realise how fortunate we are only when we are left to face even greater difficulties and challenges.
One thing many of us don’t realise is that much of our suffering does not emanates from events themselves, but how we deal with those events. Our thoughts and emotions that we generate (most of the time as an automatic response) are the root cause of suffering. As long as it is not something that is an automatic reaction, we do have a choice about it. Once we become aware of our thoughts and emotions and practice it intentionally, with a primary objective of managing our responses, suffering loses its power over us.
With regular practice you will mindfully detach yourself from the emotions the event has provoked. You will intellectualise whatever has the potential to impact your emotions negatively and rationally assess the reality of your situation.
Humanity’s perpetual dissatisfaction with its current state has long been a popular topic of philosophical debate. It is both the impetus for our most astounding innovations and the cause of our most deeply rooted sense of unhappiness: the longing to attain the highest level of our human potential.
You must have noticed this in yourself as well.
One of the biggest reasons that you are unhappy is that you don’t like where your life is at the moment. You might have even noticed that there is no change you can make in your life that will make you happy. In whatever way you choose to live your life, you are going to be dissatisfied and that compels you to seek change for the better.
But believe me it’s not your fault.
This longing for improvement is an evolutionary feature that has been put in place to facilitate constant innovation. That leads to human evolution and development. However, the discontented nature of human existence is a feature of our race that holds it back. Regardless of our achievements, the quest for happiness never seems to meet its end.
By practicing a life where you are consciously aware of everything, you will gain the ability to see that wherever your life is, it is where it is supposed to be. If there are areas that require improvement, you will be automatically drawn toward improving them through your unrelenting practice of conscious living. Once you have achieved your optimum self, this practice will definitely allow you to feel contented by the quality of your present life.