Solving problems that don't exist ― 2 min read
For many years I've had a problem with falling into phases where I'd start with the premise that I was not happy with my life and that I needed to change something to make myself happy. I would agonize over what I could possibly do to escape my suffering and find happiness. Needless to say, all this agonizing was quite distressing! I would imagine leaving the country, quitting my job, getting a new hobby, finding new friends, changing everything in my life to escape all the suffering I was experiencing because I wasn't happy.
Recently I feel I've discovered a new perspective on this (credit to Joy by Osho) - starting with the premise that you aren't happy is a mistake. If you start there then you go on wishing you were happy and feeling like you don't know how to be happy which makes you miserable. Instead of that whole chain of events just realize that you are happy and have so much to be happy and grateful for. Not least of all the fact that you are alive and experiencing the world!
An initial negative thought that is entirely questionable can go on to generate a whole chain of totally unnecessary suffering. It is possible to avoid that whole chain of suffering simply by not falling into the trap in the first place.
It is interesting to me to think how illusory and artificial so much of our suffering is and how our efforts of escaping it often serve to perpetuate it. Trying to solve a problem that doesn't exist just creates more problems.