Please take my suffering away

Have you ever felt like this? “Someone please just take my suffering away!” Perhaps you feel this way right now.
I can tell you that I often feel this, and get very sad.
Being born and raised a Roman Catholic, and having been a Christian most of my life, I was taught to pray to God to help you with your troubles and take away the suffering.
Of course, not only did I find that this did not work, but I came to the realization that there is no all powerful being out there who can or will do this for me.
The acceptance of this reality placed all of the suffering and burden square on my shoulders.
But my early Dhamma studies immediately showed that the Buddha’s first Noble Truth is “there is suffering”.
And he never said I was going to like it, or he could take it away from me. He simply taught to accept the fact that there is suffering.

So if I accept this, why do I struggle so hard to make it go away? Well, I can only ascertain that it is because I still do not fully comprehend the other three Noble Truths.
I sometimes would like to think that I am already at the third Noble Truth, and I’m working on the cessation of suffering. But the fact is, I do not believe that I have learned or accepted the second Noble Truth, which is that the origin of suffering is attachment.
Attachment, attachment, this is huge.
How do I become detached from my loved ones? This seems impossible to me right now. Even more powerful is, why would I want to? What about my ideas, perceptions, opinions? Aren’t these mine? Don’t these things define who David is?
Ah, you see the problem here don’t you. All of these constructs of attachment and definition are truly the cause of my suffering.
And there is clearly no one who can “fix” these for me. I am simply a beast of burden who will carry this until I choose to drop the load that I am carrying.

suffering
I practice to see this second Noble Truth each day, and perhaps I am making progress.
In small ways, I am beginning to see that I can love and protect my Family without “owning” them.
Perhaps I am starting to see that my perceptions and opinions are false and delusional. They are fueled by my ego, and this too has to be released. It’s up to me if I choose to continue to carry this.

May I become more mindful and awake each moment. May I always be grateful for the Buddha, the Dhamma and the Sangha.
And may you each be well, happy and peaceful.

  • Jim Schuessler

    Another raised Catholic. I heard somebody say something to the effect – this is what I heard the nuns and priests say, it’s not necessarily WHAT they said. The problem is how I interpreted it, and carried that around for many years. It’s freeing, yet sometimes difficult to let go of some the old thinking, and be open to something new, something I have been enjoying, making the attempt to learn and practice. Metta, Jim

  • http://www.facebook.com/ramya.tennekoon Ramya Tennekoon

    A mind opening article David… it is to be re-read and understood deeply. As you say, in small ways IF we can begin to see that we can love and appreciate our family, children, friends and folks around us without ‘owning’ them … wow, then half the battle is won! Letting go of the self ego is the key but in truth this practice has to be done AT THE VERY MOMENT we are in the action of generating attachment to them… Hm, talk about A CHALLENGE!

  • http://www.facebook.com/dmschmidt David Schmidt

    Thank you so much Jim and Ramya. Your thoughts and comments are so greatly appreciated.