A Blog A Day

It\’s a blog where I write about the extraordinary and the ordinary things going on in my life.

Happiness Inside

I had the most profound realization today. I realized how correct the Buddhists are. The self is truly the cause of suffering. I realized that all these years, I was looking for something outside of myself. I was looking for happiness and love outside of myself. And no matter how hard I looked, I could never find it. I had to become a Buddhist to understand that all the while, I carried happiness and love within myself.

I was a seeking person. I loved to learn. After college, I took a course in literature. Then, I took painting classes, a script-writing class, cooking classes, and all the other stuff I could think about. I felt that there was something missing in my life. The same with love, I stayed in an unhappy relationship hoping it would become better. I was looking for love in the wrong place.

But on Monday, I had a discussion with my friend May. She made me realize that the quest for happiness and love is universal. Everyone is looking for happiness and love outside of themselves. And one can never find it through that way.

” I know I have all the pieces of the puzzle. I have my family. I have my work. I have my friends. I just don’t know what to do with the pieces. I don’t know how to arrange them, ” May said.

May was devastated because she learned that her father had an affair with a younger woman. She confronted her father about it. In her fit of rage, she threw objects at him. But looking back at what she did, she felt deep regret.

” I know what I did was wrong,” she revealed. ” Because I was so angry, I’m afraid that I might have lost him forever.”

” I know it’s hard for you to accept. But you don’t have to be too hard on yourself. What you did, you did out of love. You loved your father so much that you were unafraid to show him how you truly felt. You don’t have to regret. You were just being human.”

I told her that at one point in my previous relationship, I cheated with my boyfriend. It was more of emotional cheating. Nothing came out of it though. But I learned a lesson from that experience.

” When you’re lonely and unhappy with your relationship, sometimes it can be so overwhelming that you start to do something that you know is not right. But looking back, I realized that I was only human, ” I told her. ” It’s hard sometimes not to be overwhelmed by our problems and emotions. I guess that’s why you need a higher awareness.”

I told May that I got my higher awareness from chanting. But I told her that it doesn’t have to be chanting. I told her that she could do mediation exercises or yoga. What matters is that you have a constant spiritual practice.
It wasn’t only through my talk with May that I realized something. I had a talk with my cousin during the weekend. She complained about her boyfriend.

” He’s not there for me. He’s always busy. He never has time for me. And I think he’s cheating on me. I’m thinking of replacing him. I want to just find someone else,” she said.

” Do you think that if you find someone else, you won’t feel the same thing for your new boyfriend eventually? And even if you find someone else, you’ll carry that with you. The problem is not your boyfriend. The problem is you. ” I said.

” What do you mean?” she seemed surprised.

” I have this married friend. He revealed to me that his wife is sweet and yet he’s not satisfied with her. And the one at fault is him. It’s always the person. To a person who complains, he will always find something to complain about no matter where he is. I used to complain a lot. But now, I rarely do. You can never run out of things to complain about. The problem is not your partner, but you,” I told her.

I told her a story about Buddha. One day, there was this man who went to Buddha and complained about his wife. What Buddha told him was rather simple. Buddha said, ” The problem is not your wife. The problem is you. The problem is how you see your wife.”

Humans always complain. Humans always find fault in others. But to try to change others is difficult. One must first start with oneself. The secret is to change the way one looks at life. Being a grateful person takes practice but it is possible to be a more grateful person.

All those years, I was searching for something missing in my life. Like May, I had all the pieces of the puzzle yet I didn’t know what to do with it. And because she pointed it out to me, I realized how I’m no longer looking for happiness and love outside of myself. I have found what I was looking for. I wasted all those years of my life looking for something that I had carried with me all along.

I am grateful I have become a Buddhist. I would never have understood myself. I never would have understood others. I know the journey to self-discovery has just begun. The path to self-awareness isn’t easy, but I am confident that I will carry on.

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