By Richard Daley
It is our responsibility to be observant and accept that sometimes the dissatisfaction we feel is a wave of our own inner storm.
When experiencing dissatisfaction our initial reaction may be confusion in regard to why or how it is occurring, and then we begin to search for answers. There are many places to look, and many of those places lead us down the wrong path.
We may look toward alcohol, drugs, sense pleasures, Netflix, Amazon shopping, or we may attempt to find someone who can help us solve our challenge. As tempting as it may be, looking for solace in the wrong places or taking advice from the wrong people can be dangerous. This is the risk we take when opening our mind to outside help. As important as this step is, we must look at certain factors on the quest for someone or something that can truly provide us help.
It is impossible to miss the importance of social connection and in this search for a magic potion, we typically ask others the question we need answered.
At this stage, it is important to first evaluate our situation. Was this result caused by our own actions? Do we need to make an adjustment to avoid this stress in the future? There are a lot of people who will sell us on their personal and marketable panacea. They may wrongly recommend that a motivational seminar or some meditation will provide us a cure. They may even advise that we can blame others for our suffering; however, it is our responsibility to be observant and accept that sometimes this dissatisfaction we feel is a wave of our own inner storm.
On the journey into this storm, it is essential to be observant and honest with oneself. If we are hoping to employ a first mate, we should look for the same two qualities of honesty and awareness in them.
When we are being honest in this way with ourselves, we are able to recognize honesty in others, and bypass association with those lacking that honesty.
Circumventing routes—and people—that are stricken with greed, hatred or deluded thinking will aid us in achieving the goal of placing our confidence in a source in which we may realize happiness. This excursion in the tempest takes bravery and courage. We are required to focus the spotlight on that which hurts most, and investigate the true nature of our own suffering.
Whether it is self-generated or not, we experience stress in the form of strain on the body and mind throughout our lives.
At this point, when we are looking directly at the wave, we have no choice but to observe it, and welcome it—accept the challenge at face-value. There is no space for escapism. There will be no relief from this storm until we see our inner reality for what it truly is.
The challenges we face are like waves crashing into the shoreline, they come and they go. When we break the habit of analyzing endlessly and just let things be, the sky begins to open, and the ocean starts to settle down.
Richard’s writing draws inspiration from Buddhism, psychology, neuroscience, and sometimes his passion for plant life and bonsai. Some of the central principles in Buddhist practice are compassion, wisdom, meditation and equanimity. Richard attempts to integrate these principles into his content, and share ways that we can analyze, and make sense of our experience in an uncertain world.