Suffering and misery are inevitable in life. While we cannot wish away our suffering it is definitely worthwhile to understand some of the causes behind our suffering.
The causes of misery are either in our past, in our present or in an imagined future.
Painful Past: Quite a few people suffer from this sort of misery. These people look back at their past lives and keep wishing that it had occurred in a different way. They are not able to come to terms with their failures, their sorrows and their indiscretions of the past. It really does not make sense to moan a painful past. What has happened has happened and we need to get over it. There is no sense in tying oneself into knots about the past which cannot be changed. We just need to get over it and move on in life.
Imagined Future: Then there are others who wish for a rosy future and fret and fume in the present. They sincerely hope for something in their future – a promotion, getting through some exam or acquiring some material possession. They are so are wound up in all their fantasies that they find the present drab and hence suffer. They live in an imagined world and fail to see reality as it is. It does not make sense to spoil the present based on an imagined future
Unbearable Present: The third type of suffering happens in the present. The causes behind this kind of suffering are many.
Conflict with our world view: This is the most common type of suffering that we face in the present i.e. we expect the world to behave in a certain way but people act in a completely different way. We expect our friends, our spouses, our colleagues to treat us with certain sensitivity. When this does not happen we feel utterly miserable.
Ego: This is another root cause of our misery. We tend have a certain opinion of ourselves. In some it may even border on vanity. When somebody treats us with disdain or insults us we feel utterly hurt and our ego is crushed. This can cause a lot of undue suffering.
Desire: This is the third cause of suffering in the present. We want many things in our life. We want money, wealth, recognition and respect. When our desires are not met we suffer.
While there is no easy way out of our suffering, becoming aware of the causes of our misery enables us to handle our lives better. As we learn the root causes we can devote our attention to the causes and eradicate them.
In this way we can at least strive for a more peaceful existence.