The amount you experience suffering in life is linked to how much you are resisting the fact that things are the way they are. When you experience suffering or discomfort you will find there is resistance. If you can change your attachments and needs to preferences, you will then be able to let go of your need for control over the uncontrollable. When the what is, is not what you want it to be, you will not suffer over it. The external events and people will not control your peace and happiness. You can avoid suffering only to the level that you are willing and able to let whatever happens to be ok. The individuals that live by rules, have-to’s and shoulds, suffer a lot because no matter how hard they work to protect their rules and push others to follow them, the rules will sometimes be broken. The more rules, the more inflexible they are, the more often they will be broken, the more they are broken will result in you creating suffering for yourself.
B.J. was a young man that suffered a lot in life. When he was born his father left and his mother hated him because every time she looked at him she saw his father. This got worse as B.J got older because he had his father’s looks and mannerisms. He was constantly told he was no good, that he would never amount to anything, and the world would be a better place if he had just died at birth. At school B.J. was introverted and other kids teased him for being slow, calling him stupid and weird. He tried hard to do what his mother and teachers told him and to follow the rules to the letter, but the more he tried the more he failed. He became very depressed, angry and got into fights every day.
One day he met a lady called Maria and he was captivated by her. She was a teacher in his school and she was the first person to treat B.J. as a real human being with respect and concern for him. She introduced him to meditation to help him control his anger and to discover how to stop reacting to what others said and did to him. He loved the meditation sessions and he learnt to see himself in a new positive, affirmative and loving way. His grades started to improve and he was able to make friends which was something he has never been able to do before.
One day when B.J. was in a meditation session he had a deep realization: Just let whatever happens be ok! You work towards the outcome you want, but you are unattached to the results. Your suffering is replaced by a deep compassion for all living things, including yourself. You let go of suffering and you gain the presence of mind to act effectively and appropriately. You become more competent and the attempts you make to create change works because you are better focused. When handling challenging situations, thoughts and feelings you don’t resist or suppress them, you accept them as completely as you can. You can ask yourself the following questions to find the way to proceed: “Given that this is the situation, what now?” “Moving ahead, how can I create what I want?” By using acceptance you empower yourself to heal, change, or release any unsettled mental or emotional stuff.
B.J. realized that his mother just could not love him the way he wanted and needed her too. So he accepted this and let it be ok. She eventually went and got treatment for her mental challenges and she improved over the following few years. B.J. and his mother now have a much closer relationship and she tells him that she will make a better grandmother than a mother. She is sorry for the negative things she did and said in the past. B.J. is growing into a fine young man with a bright future.
If you stop resisting, the discomfort will stop. You may experience sensations and these may be intense, however, the intensity will not be negative unless you resist it. More importantly, when you stop resisting, you will become much more effective in creating any external change you have a preference for and not an attachment to. It is my hope that sharing these things, you will be able to try them out for yourself and discover they work. Until next time I wish you peace, love and success. Martin Acton Sensei.