I’m am of the belief that the best way to get through life is to ride the waves. The ride is much more enjoyable that way…. you can get into the rhythm of life, roll with it.
When you fight the tides you become exhausted, and soon, with all your energy expended on the fight, there is nothing left and it’s easy to become discouraged, angry, and frustrated.
I myself think this is a pretty sound philosophy, and one I try to live by, but sometimes, even being in possession of a sound philosophy, I still go off track and find myself with a mouthful of sea water.
The sea water of late tastes very much like self pity. Sometimes it feels like the world has shifted on it’s axis, leaving me dangling … like in a movie where a ship is sinking and the passengers cling to the side of the rails rather than give in and fall to the water. That’s my mental image… of course, in my mental image it isn’t certain death in the depths of the ocean but something unknown and unfamiliar… uncomfortable and I’m trying to cling to the best parts of my life, like the rail, but it’s futile. Yep, I’ve been going around feeling damned sorry for myself.
A little of that, I believe, is OK now and again. It’s the darkness that lets us appreciate the light and I think it’s OK to spend a little time wallowing in that darkness before rising up and cursing it one last time before finding a new wave to ride. The trick is not to wallow so long and end up drowning.
As the Buddhists believe (in my extraordinarily limited understanding), we suffer due to the attachments we hold. We become attached to all kinds of things, from material possessions to people to situations (this is where I am right now).
Because the ‘things’ we become attached to are non permanent, there is no choice but to eventually lose that thing. So, we are on an endless circle of chasing attachments, believing that once we have enough of them, we will be happy… ‘them’ can be cars or friends, dollars or clothes, money or love, or or or….
The key is to give up attachments, to understand that all things are transient and as long as I continue to chase things that are not permanent, I will continue to find suffering…. don’t cling… roll with it!
If the happiness is within me, then there is no need to seek comfort from the outside, the world can continue to change as it will – and it will have no effect on my inner peace.
My friend says: Have you considered a period of monastic living? My response: Yes, but it’s not very practical.
I guess I’ll have to get there the slow way.