The First Noble Truth

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Suffering. Great auspicious start to a new project, eh? But what better place, also. It is the First Noble Truth for a reason. Tara Brach, and many others I’m sure, say that pain is inevitable, but suffering is optional. I am trying hard to get out of this suffering right now. And maybe that is the problem. Maybe I am trying too hard.

Mitigation efforts include trying to remember how much worse it could be, but this is an old tactic and really only feeds the underlying resentment that my life has not turned out as well as I may have hoped. So then I move on to naming the things for which I am grateful. Grateful for . . . just being alive for starters. I don’t kid when I say that. I am grateful to be alive and sane. It could have gone a different way. There are innumerable things for which I am grateful. Maybe I should just practice naming them over and over. It helps.

I am stuck in the first noble truth and I am having trouble shaking it. I suffer because I feel like my life is a complete and total failure. And I know that this is an illusion. Thinking! I know I am not my thoughts. I know that this is a narrative, and that it feels real, but it is not true. I know I am choosing this suffering, but I cannot seem to let it go. My mind feels overwhelmed right now. And tired.

I have said it, out loud and in public. Now I pause and wait to see if typing it out that plain and simple will do anything. Pausing. Pausing.

Breathing.

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