We all like to be happy, and none of us likes to suffer. Yet, is this really how we behave all the time? Observe what is going on; you might be in for a surprise!
Sometimes we are happy living our life but feel guilty about it deep down inside. Do I really deserve to live in a big house while others are homeless? Can I enjoy steamy sex while our gurus remind us that we are not our body? Can I aggressively go after what is meaningful to me and should I cut people out of my life who bother me?
The flip-side of our argument is that suffering, while not fun, can actually be morally soothing. "I am nice to people", you say to yourself, "while the cruel world takes advantage of me because Jesus wants me to." Or you say, "I stay with my spouse because our children could not handle a divorce right now." Suffering gives us a sense of innocence and makes us morally superior vis-a-vis our abusers. Suffering feeds our ego and we may be secretly proud of this identity and want to keep it. Our advice to you, if you find yourself in this role today, do something about it! God gives us this world to be happy and if something is not right, make the necessary adjustment. God wants us to be happy, period!
When you suffer you are secretly in love with an image of yourself; a hero, a martyr or a saint. Religion loves this role but, honorable as it is, it is an image different from the real you. We cannot love others unless we love ourself. And when we cannot really do anything good for ourselves, we cannot do anything good for people around us either. Please understand that your suffering, as noble as it appears, is a complete waste for everyone.
The truth is the more joyful we are, the more love we can share with others and the more good we can bring to this world! Live a little, enjoy what you do and cut out the stuff that holds you back. God needs happy light workers to share the light!
By Christian and Su Zhen