Donald White’s Weblog

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Unhappiness

Posted by donaldwhite on September 28, 2008

 

 

 

The Buddha said that desire was the cause of unhappiness, but I believe that is incorrect. We can desire something and not be unhappy that we do not have it. It is only when we begin to resent not having, or having something for that matter, that unhappiness begins.

It is not the lack of something that makes us unhappy: it is resenting the lack. We do not become unhappy, for instance, because we are not rich. When we begin to resent not being rich, then we begin to be unhappy. Disabilities do not make us unhappy, only when we begin to resent the disability do we become unhappy. The way we are treated on the job does not make us unhappy until we begin to resent it, then such treatment makes us unhappy indeed. The lack of childhood support does not make us unhappy, only when we become resentful of that lack do we become unhappy. Even unrequited love does not make us unhappy. We can love someone even though they do not return our feelings. However, if we resent that they do not return those feelings, we become very unhappy.

We can find peace and contentment if we can overcome feelings of resentment. If we can seek our desires, and work to get ahead without resentment eating at our hearts; goals become an exciting journey rather than an irritating trudge. Letting us enjoy the trip regardless of whether we ever reach the intended destination. We can take enduring pleasure in doing rather than the momentary pleasure we get from accomplishment. When we seek accomplishment rather than enjoying the doing, we easily fall into resentment of the smallness of our rewards, and become deeply depressed.

Yes, resentment makes us unhappy. Yet we hold desperately onto our resentments as if they defined us, as if letting them go would make us be someone else. Are we scared to become someone else? Someone who is happy?

 

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