Have you ever realized something, and it just rocks you? BAM.
now, I'm not saying I've got it all. not by a long stretch!! But Chapter 27: The Facts of Life: Suffering made a lot of sense to me.
The third mark of existence is suffering, dissatisfaction. (the fist two are Impermanence and Egolessness) To put it concisely, we suffer when we resist the noble and irrefutable truth of impermanence and death. We suffer not because we are basically bad or deserve to be punished but because of three tragic misunderstandings....
(the first two talk about that we see what is impermanent as permanent, and that we are not separate from everything else...Impermanence and Egolessness...)
Third we look for happiness in all the wrong places. The Buddha calls this habit "mistaking suffering for happiness." We become habituated to reaching for something to ease the edginess of the moment. Thus we become less and less able to reside with even the most fleeting uneasiness or discomfort. what begins as a slight shift of energy -- a minor tightening of the stomach, a vague indefinable feeling that something bad is about to happen -- escalates into addiction. This is our way of trying to make life predictable. Because we mistake what always results in suffering to be what brings us happiness, we remain stuck in the repetitious habit of escalating our dissatisfaction.
I'm not sure if I can articulate why this hit me so hard. I don't see that I have a 'traditional' addiction. I don't drink or smoke or do drugs. I've always felt a little smug about that. I never *judged* people for doing that, but I felt I am better. I'm not. My addiction *is* suffering. I have unexplained stomach pain. I can't seem to communicate with my husband long term. We fight so we can make up. I suffer with stomach issues so I can get patted on the head "poor baby". I have anxiety attacks 'for no apparent reason'. All so I can feel happy later.
Shit. Doesn't life have enough ups and downs and constant change (*impermanence*), that I don't have to create it to feel happy?
Yea. Sometimes, I wish I wasn't on this path. Ignorance sometimes really does seem like bliss.
But. opening another door. feeling the fresh air come in. Having the Oprah *AHA!* moment. I'll take it. I'll take it untill the next moment comes...oh. here it is!
Move along folks...We don't really have much time at all...but savour each moment...even the "bad". Keep on keeping on.