Life, in its unobserved state, is suffering; so too is happiness, sadness, death, and love. However it is within our willingness to experience life through the eyes of the observer that we see that suffering is not only self-inflicted, but unrelated to our direct experience.
When we are deeply happy, our mind is a blank slate, there is nothing but the sensations of the present moment enveloping us. We are writing our experience feeling by feeling, moment by moment. Like seeing the ocean for the first time, you stand in awe, in complete oneness with that simple moment.
Rarely do we stay in this pristine state of experience, quite quickly actually, we start to add on baggage from our past or how we perceive the future may turn out. This is the result of our continuous search for happiness/contentment and freedom from pain. The more we run from our discomfort, the more we focus on it; and what we focus on grows.
Seed: the next time you feel a sense of unhappiness, rather than avoiding it with whatever means possible, lean into it. Ask yourself, “can I touch the center of my pain?” If you observe your pain rather than being overwhelmed by it, you will soon see that pain is part of your overall experience, not the experience itself. It is our fear of feeling the very things that pain us that makes the experience of them feel so much worse and unbearable.
Being able to sit with our discomfort without resistance or judgement, opens us to the totality of this moment; wherein the seeds of courage are planted.
This post originally appeared on PlantingWisdom.org