Daily Zen

Why Does Life Feel So Difficult?

Featured Image Black Bird with Whit Dots

You’re living on your last paycheck, your partner left you, your health is in decline, and you have no motivation to be alive…. Have you ever been there? Maybe you’re there now.

Rock bottom happens to the best of us. While rock bottom is a very real place, it may not be what it appears to be. In fact, you may closer to the top than you realize, as rock bottom and the top are really two sides of the same essence.

Maybe rock bottom was needed to instigate much needed change in your life, or a genuine appreciation for life. Maybe it’s the necessary catalyst or stepping stone to your very best life that you would have never discovered otherwise. Or, maybe what is commonly called ‘rock bottom’ is actually success for someone who has chosen to follow their life passion. It’s really amazing that person has even made it this far in such a challenging endeavor. What appears to be failure is also success.

Popular advice would say it’s only a matter of perspective. But any perspective is really an illusion, unless it includes all the perspectives simultaneously. Then you can see things as they really are.

When you can see things as they really are, you realize there’s a top and a bottom, good and bad, failure and success… to everything, all the time. Focusing on one perspective to the exclusion of another, such as positive or negative, only creates an illusion and an illusory experience. Instead, can you see both the positive and the negative in literally everything?

Here’s an example. One day I went to a grocery store I don’t normally shop at. It was a very big grocery store, so that I had trouble finding anything. I immediately planted a subconscious belief in my mind that I can’t find anything in that store. The next time I went, guess what happened? That’s right, I couldn’t find anything. On my way out, I saw the items I needed were right at the entrance. I had walked right past them and wasted a lot of time wandering around the store looking for them.

I experienced what is called an ‘illusory experience.’ I experienced what I EXPECTED to experience, rather than reality itself.

But the same scenario could have gone the other way. I could have found what I needed right away during the first visit, and formed the belief I could get my shopping done quickly at that store. But the next time, maybe I was in such a hurry that I bought items I didn’t really want to purchase – only to maintain my illusory belief and experience that I could shop quickly. This is how prolonged suffering occurs.

In reality, there might be days where I find shopping items quickly, and other days where I don’t. Maybe I can’t find things quickly, so I take time to learn the setup of that particular store. Next time, I could shop faster. But then maybe I need an obscure item, and I have trouble finding it…. Up and down we go. That’s called life. That’s called ‘living in reality.’

When you see life as it really is, you can see that life is both easy AND difficult, simultaneously, all the time. We could also say that life is neither easy nor difficult. Life simply is.

Life isn’t what you make of it. Life isn’t what you want it to be, expect it to be, or hope for it to be…. Life simply IS.

When you accept things exactly as they are, you can work with that, and thereby experience your best life in a real, genuine way. Resistance to what is makes life difficult. Flowing with what is makes life easy.

Sure, there may be some temporary pain as you accept the facts of ‘what is.’ But that’s far better than making endlessly bad decisions based on mere illusions.