It's normal to think that pain is bad
It's understandable that we see anxiety as the enemy. It's logical that we try to avoid such feelings.
But what if these unpleasant states were actually our teachers? What if they were the very thing pointing us to freedom?
You see, the problem isn't anxiety, fear, anger, or jealousy. Nor is it death, financial loss, or being away from loved ones.
As hard as this might be to fathom, what if it were the truth?
There's a reason why everything is the way it is
That reason involves everything before it being exactly the way it was. And everything before that being exactly the way it was. And so on and so forth, all the way back to the Big Bang.
Right now, at this moment, things cannot be other than the way they are. Sure, they can be different tomorrow. But we don't live in tomorrow-land. We only ever live in today, right now. That's where we experience joy, and that's where we experience pain.
If we're to break out of our suffering, we must first recognize that we have very little influence on the outside world. Therefore, we should stop acting like it's wrong when things don't go our way.
Instead of focusing on fixing the outside world, we ought to focus on cleaning up our inner world. After all, that's where we live! We don't live out there. We live in here, inside this body, amongst all of these weird energies that we can't explain half the time.
The real problem we experience is our inability to deal with ourselves while certain things happen around us.
Remember how big the universe is
Take a look at the stars. Close your eyes and remember that you're on a little blue spec of dirt in an incomprehensibly large galaxy, in a universe so big we cannot even talk about it.
Remember that. Take the view of Earth from outer space, and remember that you're part of something bigger. Neither you, nor I, nor anyone on this planet is the center of anything. We're all temporarily witnessing the greater unfolding of the universe.
Remember this when you start to feel anxious.
I'm often reminded of Carl Sagan's famous "Pale Blue Dot" photograph, taken from about as far away from Earth as they could.
While the image isn't anything remarkable at first glance, when you ponder its significance, it can leave you speechless. That little spec you see, caught in the ray of light, is our planet. It's our home.
How dare we think we think things need to go our way all the time.
To quote the late Carl Sagan:
"It seemed to me that another picture of the Earth, this one taken from a hundred thousand times farther away, might help in the continuing process of revealing to ourselves our true circumstance and condition. It had been well understood by the scientists and philosophers of classical antiquity that the Earth was a mere point in a vast encompassing Cosmos, but no one had ever seen it as such. Here was our first chance."
There is a greater force guiding every single event that we experience.
Imagine if we didn't resist each little thing that happens just because we don't like it.
Imagine if we learned to surf the waves of life rather than hold up our surfboards trying to stop them.
Imagine what life could be like.
Live with substance!