“Why is life so difficult?”
“I wish my life was more like his…”
“If only I had what she had.”
“Why can’t I be more like him?”
How many times have you heard these words? Perhaps you heard it uttered from the words of others. Perhaps you heard it in your own thoughts. Did you sense the suffering behind these words? The struggle?
Have you ever witnessed leaves on a river? We can see much of ourselves in nature. This is because we are nature. We might have distorted ourselves through lifeless thoughts, but nature has a way of bringing us back. Nature reminds us of our senseless struggle. There is no struggle, the flower silently states.
We struggle because we want more. We think if we have more love, more money, more security, more luxuries, we would eventually cease struggling. We believe there comes a point when we would have enough and the struggle will disappear. We compare and criticize, condemn and condone. Blinded by our own thoughts, we do not see that it is the very desire for more that causes the struggle. Struggling gives us a sense of identity. If we are not working hard, it means we are not fulfilling our potential. Because we are not fulfilling our potential, we are a disappointment to both ourselves and our peers. For many of us, there is a sense that we are special, different from the rest. Whether we want to be an artist, an athlete, a doctor or even a “simple” farmer. We carry our identities so we can separate ourselves from the rest. Yet this is merely an illusion. When we engage in painting, we are painters. When we cease painting, we are no longer painters. What we call ourselves and what we think of ourselves is completely fictitious. The moment you stop to conceptualize yourself, you have already failed. To marginalize yourself into a set of characteristics is to deny your own ineffable and spontaneous nature.
We swim so strenuously because we believe there is treasure at the bottom of the river. Some of us swim to the north, some of us swim to the south. Wherever we swim, we will find no treasure. Yet the strangest thing happens when we stop seeking. We see the true treasure – the river itself.
I wrote this post in response to the Weekly Writing Challenge in wordpress. This is the link to the challenge: