Well, Buddhism attempts to end all suffering, and while I walk this path, I am not too optimistic that I’ll reach that point any time soon. Also, without suffering, there will still be pain, which isn’t my favourite either, and I am not yet at a stage to see it as yet another sensation.
So, for now, let’s work with what I have: Suffering and a brain that keeps trying to fix things. It endlessly scans for problems trying to fix things. That’s nice and considerate, and I am grateful for the time and effort my brain puts into this, but it’s also draining.
Here’s how I am going about it these days:
- In life, there will always be struggle and suffering.
- I won’t get to the point when it’s all solved, and I can enjoy peaceful years with absolutely everything being just fine.
- In life, there’s also a lot that is enjoyable.
So I give sufficient time to the challenges at hand, and as I have realized that there will never be enough time to solve it all and forever, at one point, I put them aside and enjoy life. There’s a lot to enjoy, and rest assured, the challenges will still be there tomorrow.
Once again, it’s about balance; how much problem-solving and how much being, enjoying life is appropriate?
I think the indicator is when active problem-solving becomes actionless worry and rumination. That’s when I start wasting my life. Even in my thoughts, if I pay attention, I can distinguish which thoughts are getting me somewhere and which ones are just taking the front stage because they are loud and alarming and, in the end, have nothing to say except releasing some cortisol.
It’s not easy, and I often find myself arguing with myself, but it does get better with practice. Intellectually understanding it won’t get us anywhere during an emotional rush of hormones. Only training will help get our emotions and thoughts regulated. It’s that simple and hard at the same time.
And no, when you can regulate your thoughts and emotions, you won’t get weak and submissive. You will get a lot clearer in knowing what is essential and what isn’t, and you’ll pursue what is important with better reasoning, understanding, and efficiency.