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Lions Roar : July 2016
When we actually take a look at all of the problems our emo- tions cause us, we might be surprised. We usually put the blame for our unhappiness on things outside of ourselves, such as when we are treated or spoken to in a way we don’t like. In that situation, our ordinary reaction is to resent the person we feel has wronged us. But we should take some time to examine the truth of the matter. No matter how another person treats us, how difficult a situation might be, or which of our personal needs we feel wasn’t met, we actually have the power to transform our own state of mind from resentment to peace and contentment. When we reflect in this way, we see that it is actually our own emotions that are the problem. They are what is causing us so much pain. This is the second noble truth: the origin of suffer- ing. We suffer because we do not know how to deal with our emotions and emotional reactions. We don’t realize that blam- ing others for our own unhappiness can never bring us happi- ness, so we continue to deal with our problems in the same way we always have, which only brings more suffering. We suffer because we continually choose to identify with and focus on how we feel. But identifying with our emotions is like throwing fuel on a fire. If we choose to identify with our anger, it will burn even hotter and take longer to die down. The same is true of the other poisons, such as attachment, jealousy, or arrogance. Identifying with our emotions is a sure recipe for even more unhappiness. The truth of the origin of suffering can be freeing. We realize that at each and every moment, happiness is available to us if we choose to let go of our strong emotions and relax. This is the third noble truth: the truth of cessation. If we come to accept that PHOTOBYSIMONBURCH/MILLENNIUMIMAGES,UK LION’S ROAR | JULY 2016 61