Observe yourself and try to understand what’s the root of your anxiety and pain. Do you feel good about yourself when you are doing the right things? Do you feel good when your kids are doing great at school? How do you feel when your house is spotless or looks like a museum? Do you feel good when you are successful at something, say in your career, your looks or your parenting? Do you feel bad when you aren't doing so well in any of these aspects of your life? It is almost like the “you” is under attack then; it is like a sign saying “you” are not so good. In the extreme, you want to destroy “yourself” when you feel that you cannot keep “your image”. How many “successful” people commit suicide when something bad happens in their life?
Observe how painful we feel when things are not going so well. We work so hard to create and protect our “self-image”. Any situations which may threaten our perceived “image” creates turbulence in us. It is our ego that creates this suffering; it is this worry of ego that puts us in constant anxiety.
When we finally can see things as they are, and realize all these ups and downs are just there to help us wake up, we can finally end the suffering created by the ego. Don’t we all feel good about “ourselves” when things come our way and feel “bad” when things are not doing so well? But if some day we suddenly realize that whatever happens, nothing can really touch the core behind the image we have of ourself, then the struggle is effectively over.
We can finally experience our life just as is. Certainly, we are still happy when things come our way, and are still upset when things are not going so well. However, these ups and downs are not going to rock our boat. We let them come and go with equanimity. We are finally able to lead and experience our life just as is. We are finally able to let life unfold through us. We are a messenger of life and the Tao. Life is as it it is, what’s there to be so excited or sad about?
By Christian and Su Zhen