Suffering occurs when you take every thought rushing through your head to be the truth.
Your thoughts about situations make you unhappy, not the situations themselves – situations are neutral.
Suffering begins when you label a situation with your thoughts as being undesirable or bad.
Human beings have a vested interest and attachment in holding on to our beliefs, opinions and judgements about our circumstances – our thoughts – because it makes us feel safe.
Holding on can occur in many ways – sentimental attachment to objects or memories, daily routines, beliefs and prejudices, phobias and addictions are all varieties of holding on. They function to build and maintain the view we have of ourselves, and in the end create a tightly held and cherished ego.
The things held onto represent how we were at a time in the past. They may have little to do with how we are now, and they limit our ability to vary from habitual patterns and conditioning in the present moment.
Practice being aware of your thoughts, then letting go of ones that no longer serve you in your present circumstances. If you want to experience different things in your life, see what thoughts now get in your way, and let them go.
Where are you holding on to old behaviours or moods which do not ultimately benefit you? Which of the opinions or attitudes that you frequently display no longer serve you? Under what circumstances do you feel most stressed? It is not the circumstances that are making you unhappy, it is your thoughts about them.
Learn to listen to the thoughts that work for you now, and let the ones that don’t pass through. I am lead to believe that most people have something like 86,000 thoughts per day (though don’t ask me how that was measured!), so let the ones that no longer work for you go through without capturing them and taking them as the truth.
And if you would like some help, do give me a call. I may be able to bring some clarity to your situation, and speed up your development.