What is the best way to avoid suffering? How can you be at peace in life?
I’m going to summarize what I’ve been able to conclude after over 30 years of searching for answers.
Since I was a teenager, these questions have lingered in my mind. They have led me to read innumerous books, attend uncountable seminars and workshops, get a degree in psychology, and experiment with my life among so many other things.
I started trying to understand it from a mental perspective. Then I added emotions to the mix. Now, I’ve become more open to exploring the spiritual perspective of these questions.
As you can see, I’ve been trying to see it from all possible angles.
There are two parts to this answer, and I’m going to explore the first part on this post.
My first conclusion is that you have to realize that how you experience your life depends on what story you’ve decided to believe. I’ve explored this topic in another post, but basically what I mean is:
How do you think life operates?
Your answer to this question will tell you what story you believe. I call it “story” because it’s made up; you’ve made it up and you have chosen to believe in it.
There’s nothing wrong with this. After all, this is how our minds work, and it’s good to be aware of. Our minds create stories, one after the other. Let me repeat that because it is important:
Our minds create stories all the time.
Like a fish is surrounded by water, our minds are surrounded by stories. And, just as the fish is not aware of the water it’s swimming in, we are not aware of the stories we surround ourselves with.
We think we are surrounded by reality, like a fish may think that is surrounded by air, but that’s not the case.
Once we accept that our mind only can relate to stories, the question is:
Which story will you believe?
There are countless answers to this question, and it’s always personal. We build the answer with every experience we have, with the culture we live in, by the ideas we are exposed to, and the people we are surrounded by.
The good news is that, at any time, we can decide to believe a different story that will make our lives better.
I’ll tell you more about the story that I’ve found most useful (so far!) in pursuing a more peaceful life in the second part of this post.
In the meantime, see what you can do to be more aware of the story you believe.