How To Deal With Suffering
To have become free from fixed mind (have had an awakening that removed all beliefs and concepts) you don’t become perfect and flawless, and there’s no such thing as permanency.
So all the ideas (and promises from some that wants to make a buck out of the enlightenment business) about awakening being a permanent blissful “state” are completely delusional.
We are all still ordinary human beings who experience both ups and downs, sadness and joy, and everything you can think of.
What is different perhaps is that there’s an underlying peace that holds everything, but your boat can still be rocked, the rug under your feet can still be pulled off from under your feet, and you may still at times experience uncertainty and insecurity.
But you will be okay with that. That’s the difference. The conditioned mind is still there but our identification with it is not, so if/when fear comes up for example it doesn’t stick, instead it flows through consciousness.
You no longer make whatever you are experiencing at the moment wrong, you see it as a part of life and you don’t resist or argue with life as it is.
If you for example got an illness that threatens to take your life you would still react but not in a blame and shame/guilt kind of way.
Or if your spouse suddenly wanted a divorce, or if a family member took their own life, or whatever crisis one can experience in life, you would still have a reaction.
But the Why me/What am I doing wrong/Why am I being punished etc is no longer present.
You would still think it sucked but the drama around it would not be present anymore. You would still be saddened and maybe even cry.
There is nothing wrong with those feelings and expressions.
It’s not like you would smile blissfully to the doctor that just told you you’re going to die and clap your hands together saying that ‘what a gift’ it is!
Pain will always be a potential part of life, some experience it more than others, but none of us will never be totally free or protected from it, but we can free ourselves from the suffering we inflict on ourselves by how we handle what we have to deal with, whatever that may be.
Who would not cry if ones child died for example, who in their right mind thinks it’s ‘okay’ that animals are abused, who would not feel uneasiness when someone is mistreated somehow?
It’s a misconception that you somehow become less of a human and more ‘saintly and holy’ (or aloof) after an awakening. You’re still human and you will still have that humanness played out.
You become less concerned with things (especially how you look to others and what others think) but not less caring.
You take things with more ease and you’re more relaxed about things.
You will know that you can be free from suffering but not necessarily pain.
That doesn’t mean you never again won’t be hooked by your stream of thinking. You might.
And you might still experience being betrayed or lied to. Life will still go about doing its thing.
Usually when something ‘bad’ happens to someone, that can be the springboard to awakening.
Life pushes you out of something or into something and the whole structure your life is built upon is threatened or crushed in a single moment.
That experience can be catapult to awakening, but many times we make what happens to us wrong, and also many times we can look back and see why things had to happen the way they did.
It’s easy to look back and see the bigger picture, and it can be totally different to be in the midst of a crisis and not have the insights that can only come later.
I have experienced a lot of things in my life and that’s why I’m able to share with others that life can be perceived from a different perspective and that there’s light in the end of the tunnel, that things always move forward even if it seems like nothing will ever change.
A crisis can definitely wake you up. (Or jolt consciousness out of identification with the false self/ego).
As long as everything goes ‘our way’ and we don’t experience much ups and downs in life, there’s not much that triggers us and life just goes by where nothing much out of the ordinary happens.
Which is not wrong by the way, I know of people who live lives where nothing much happens and everyday is like the day before and they don’t develop or evolve in any way. They still have the same thoughts and beliefs as they had ten years ago and so on. And they like their lives.
And I also know of people who have lived an average type of life when suddenly a crisis hits them, like for example a divorce.
I have seen things go both ways; it can be what awakens a person, or it can be what drives a person into self-pity and addiction.
That’s where our choice lies; how we chose to deal with what happens to us.
But we can’t chose that nothing bad will ever happen to us. There are no guarantees in life.
Suffering comes from attitude and thinking and where we perceive life from, and when it’s seen through the ego we suffer.
Unpleasant outer circumstances can always come our way no matter how “enlightened” or “awakened” we are.
It’s the same for all of us; it’s what you do with it, how you handle it, how you relate to pain because pain is unavoidable, it’s part of life, just as joy and happiness is.
Life happens. Good things happen, annoying things happen, bad things happen.
An awakened person accepts this on a deep fundamental level. It’s not even a conscious choice, it’s just a natural way of being.
So no amount of positive thinking (which is nothing but an unhealthy self deception technique that comes from the ego) and slapping a happy face on is going to help, it has to be sincere and it can only be sincere once we are totally and completely true to ourselves and when we’re not avoiding anything in life just because it feels slightly uncomfortable.
There’s nothing wrong with ‘negative’ things, it’s when we make the negative negative, that’s when suffering begins.
When we’re spinning off on our stories about what is happening and when we’re being all dramatic about it. Things can just happen and yes, of course you can have opinions about it, but the building up of drama (again, usually by blame and shame) is no longer there.
There’s acceptance and dealing with things as they are.
No hiding or pushing away or avoiding.
No, instead you meet life, as it is, right now.
There might still happen awful things in the world or to you and your family in this lifetime, or there might be personal issues to deal with, or some other kind of difficulties.
There might be a lot of happy moments too.
The point is that we can never know, and we can never control what is going to happen.
That’s why it’s important to live now, and enjoy what you can enjoy now, show love to others, care about others and so on, because one can never know, this day might be our last so why waste it on worry or resentment or hate or anything else that has to do with what has been or what we imagine will be.
Someone asked me if spiritual awakening means you only attract what is positive and good into your life and to that I want to say that no, you can’t only ‘attract’ good and jolly tings.
You’re not a magnet, you’re a human being.
The whole concept is a silly blame and shame/guilt game in itself. (And concepts are not real, they are simply ideas and beliefs).
As if someone with cancer had ‘attracted’ it to themselves. A perfectly healthy and kind person can get cancer, a perfectly nice person who has never ‘sent out negative vibrations to the universe’ can be mugged, hit by a car and even worse things.
And there is no God punishing you either and no, you’re not doing anything wrong.
This is just life and sometimes it’s amazingly awesome and sometimes there’s pain.
Someone once said that the most difficult times in life are those we give ourselves. (By our judgments about what’s happening).
That to me rings very true.
How about the suffering in the world?
Will an awakened person still care? Or does an awakened person just smile and say it’s all good, all is well and be all woo woo? No.
The people who has done most good in this world has done so for the sake of freedom for all and for alleviating suffering in the world. I believe those people were (and are) awakened, at least on some level. (It’s a process and not a one-time event).
Someone who has awakened to their true nature is not about harming other beings, they know that they are one with all. On the other hand, not all chose to become vegans either.
Not all that awaken to their true nature has some grand purpose.
But you absolutely make more intelligent decisions, you are more aware of your actions and you’re also less afraid of fear so you act and move differently in the world.
You’re free from programming and indoctrinations. You think for yourself.
When you see injustice you either do something or you don’t, but if you would decide to act you would go all in and the bitching and moaning about things would not be present because you know that that’s just thoughts and opinions of the mind.
No unnecessary drama needs to be added to the situation.
So for example posting videos all over the Internet of animals being abused thinking you’re an ‘informer’ is not going to help.
The informer is the one that made the video (that’s the one who reports and he/she reports from direct experience and not from what the mind thinks of what it has just seen in a video) to us, the public, and then we take action if it resonates (we can’t all be everything for everyone), otherwise you’re just shoveling piles of shit back and forth screaming ‘horror horror’ but not really doing anything about it.
What happens is that then others follow you and the videos gets viral.
By other people who only react from the mind too and tells others about the horror.
People who watch the news and then go about complaining about it to others in the office the day after or in the bus or whatever are the same; people who sit on the couch, complaining about no one doing anything, completely blind to the fact that they might be the ones that life is calling to action.
But they don’t hear it because they are too trapped in their minds.
I once pointed this out to someone and asked her why she’s obsessed with posting (other peoples) YouTube-videos everywhere of conspiracy theories, children being beaten, animals being abused and so on, and she said that she sees herself as an “informer”.
In my mind the true informer is the one that had the guts to actually film the reality of what is going on, who maybe even put their own lives in danger so that they could show us (the public/the world) what’s going on.
That’s an informer or reporter.
Then it’s up to us to take action to help those children or animals or whatever if we feel called to. (To somehow come up with, or present a solution to what has just been seen).
The passing on of videos day in and day out is not helpful. But that’s just my personal opinions I guess.
My point of view is that I believe in actually doing something (and not for example only praying about things, leaving it in the hands of some imaginary friend called “God”).
Of course the reports has to go viral too and so the videos has to be shown etc, but lets also try to present a solution or even a link to some website that helps the animals or other human beings or whatever so people can donate or something.
(“Here’s what’s happening to the dying children and here’s what you can do to help”-type of thing).
Everyone can take a good look at themselves and ask why they do what they do and if it’s actually helpful and then change their ways and approaches if they feel inclined to.
Living an “awakened life” does not mean you will never again be bothered by anything in life and that you will go on always smiling blissfully, forever and ever.
You will still probably have your heart broken at some point.
If you think it’s possible to never ever again be hurt by anything or anyone you might have to consider living in a cave somewhere far, far away from other people and never again show yourself to the world.
That doesn’t sound like a very interesting life at all does it. And not even then would you be fully “protected” from life.
Life lived fully, experiencing it all, taking chances, making mistakes and so on, it’s what life is about. Sometimes things works out in amazing ways too.
Actually, I find myself being more concerned by the well-being of others now than I was maybe before.
I feel the anger within me boil when I see how women are being sold as slaves all over the world by sex trafficking, I cry my heart out when I see polar bears not having enough to eat because they can’t hunt as the ice is melting, and I can absolutely still get furious about things. (Although there’s years between each time, I don’t rule anything out).
And my heart is also more open than ever before.
I love more. I care more. I want people to enjoy life. I want to touch other peoples hearts in some way, and all this makes my life more enjoyable as well.
That’s kind of how life rolls when we’re true to ourselves, because we are one, so by that act of being honest and true to what we are, compassion arises and comes alive naturally.
No avoidance, no pretending, no trying to control life thinking there’s some state where there will no longer be anything to be bothered about or where everything is always all jolly and good.
That’s surface living.
The deeper kind of living is when every bit of life is lived fully present, whether it’s a joyful moment or a sad moment.
Moments go by, experiences come and go, nothing stays the same and the current of life is always moving so there’s no need to hold on to any of it.
Bottom line is to simply Live Life. That’s what it is all about. Life is to be lived.
Check out my RebelMouse page: www.rebelmouse.com/mariaerving