The very first line in “Road less travelled” by M.Scott Peck says this -“life is difficult. This is a great truth, one of the greatest truths”. He cites buddha’s teaching of the ‘Four Noble Truths’ and the first among them being that ‘life is a suffering’. He continues “It is a great truth because once we truly see this truth, we transcend it. Once we truly know that life is difficult – once we truly understand and accept it – then life is no longer difficult. Because once it is accepted, the fact that life is difficult no longer matters.”
I read this way back in College when I probably just entered the 20’s. It was the time of rebelliousness, a time that I felt lonely even amongst a crowd, it was a time of immense self-doubt and self-pity. It was a time when I didn’t understand myself and felt that the world misunderstood me. It was a time of why me? why am the one to go through the pain in life? why am I the one to not find what I was looking for? why am I the one with a million restrictions? why am the one to be not happy?
So when I read the lines of M.Scott Peck. It was like a slap in the face, a wake-up call indeed. From then on, I have told myself, life is not meant to be easy, not with me or not on anyone. It might seem like someone has it easy, but then it is good to remind oneself that today might be the day of reckoning for their struggles.
When we wallow in self-pity, we are solely responsible for the unhappiness we are causing ourselves. The question we need to ask ourselves is if this is difficult life? What we could do about it. Also, look around and see there are people having it worse (even if it is not for similar issues) and just count one’s blessings and appreciate life for the less severity of one’s problems.
Also, we cannot be completely magnanimous with our problems, that we ignore them and brush them under the carpet. They’ll always come back to bite us in the head, but we could do few things to assess our issues and see which path to take.
- First of all, acceptance that our choices have led us to the situations that we find ourselves in.
- Proportioning the blame to all parties involved for the problems and also taking a large portion of it to oneself.
- Worrying less and figuring out ways to get out. Or if not possible to accept them as they are. Here I find the apt usage of the serenity prayer.
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,Courage to change the things I can,And wisdom to know the difference.
- Finding all other things to do, people around you and little memories to make oneself happy. Being happy is not a default mode. One needs to work on the thoughts that they have, control the ones that debilitate and enhance or build on the happy, peaceful, calm ones.
- Also, accepting that whatever is happening is part of a larger design of life. That you are part of a butterfly effect.
- And if it people that bother you, what could you do, unhappiness begets unhappiness, don’t get sucked into someone else’s mire.
- And if you cannot accept a situation on a principle. Think if can you can circumvent it ? If not, no one is keeping a tab on whether you accept or not. Only you know it. By accepting something if you are able to go past it. Then accept it. Live today to fight tomorrow.
No one wants to be unhappy, yet most us take a second to think to answer when asked ‘are you happy?’ Why can’t we just all say happy even if it is only for the moment. The moment that we feel good that someone’s being concerned about us? little victories are better for the soul than monumental wins.
Another point is, it is good to crib about your situation just for once or twice. Crib about it, take it out of your system and let it go. Find a friend, record yourself cribbing your heart out, eat it out (not a healthy option, but occasionally), dance it out, just wear yourself out. Coz once you have accepted the situation. You are stronger by that minute.