Ben Schwalb from My Empowered World writes:

Most of our suffering is self-inflicted. How does this happen?

It all starts with desire: we want something. Then we make a leap from desire to belief: we believe that our desire should be fulfilled. We “should” lose weight. We “should not” eat that dessert. Someone “should” invite us to their party. Someone “should not” cut us off in traffic. The cake we baked “should” taste great. Our roof “should not” leak.

These beliefs are rigid mental constructs that we tell ourselves must not be violated, and that if they are violated, then that must be a horrible occurrence. So when someone cuts us off in traffic or our roof leaks, we react with emotional pain because we’ve already told ourselves that we must react that way. It’s premeditated.

The problem is not so much the life events that occur, but our beliefs about them. If events themselves caused suffering, then everyone would suffer equally from each event. But that’s not what happens, is it? Some people get very upset when someone cuts them off in traffic, while others don’t react at all. Why? The former people believe that other drivers must respect them by maintaining a certain minimum distance when passing them. When events go contrary to that, they still cling to their belief. “That jerk shouldn’t have gotten so close!” The latter folks are not saddled with such a belief, so there is no mental construct to be violated.

When people claim that such-and-such should or should not have happened, they argue with reality. It is an unwinnable argument because reality is what is. Period. It’s not necessarily what we might prefer. It simply is. The more we try to fight it, the more we torture ourselves. The only way to avoid this pain is to stop creating and upholding beliefs. Reality is to be accepted, not battled, because it’s a battle we can never win.

Accepting reality does not necessarily mean that we enjoy every event. Nor does it mean that we shouldn’t take steps to prevent or alleviate unpleasant situations. We do not enjoy the fact that our roof is leaking.

Read more HERE.

About the Author

Ben first became aware of something beyond the corporeal world in his mid-20s. For the past few decades he has read, thought, traveled, and meditated in a quest to find who he is, and written about his experiences. The conflict between his ego and his true self has brought him great insight into the human condition. His earthly pursuits include wrestling, homebrewing, and writing. Many of his works are available on Amazon.


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