“Ultimately, happiness comes down to choosing between the discomfort of becoming aware of your mental afflictions and the discomfort of being ruled by them.”
– Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche
I came across this quote recently and saved it because it succinctly states a truth that I face with clients daily. Every client that comes to my office is with me because they just want to be happy. Sometimes it is after a divorce or marriage problem that seems impossible to solve. Others worry and panic to point of not sleeping at all. Irregardless of the circumstances the effectiveness of whatever avoidance or management technique available has run out and they simple desire help to feel better.
So frequently I am taking on the role of the bearer of the bad news. There is no way to happiness except through your pain and discomfort. You can continue to ignore pain and discomfort. Distractions and abound to help us avoid the pain and discomfort of life. However, freedom from it only occurs after “becoming aware of your mental afflictions.” Also, this is usually not an easy or comfortable thing to do.
I wish I could share with everyone the feelings of triumph when after several weeks or months of hard work, a client that is ready to get to know their “mental afflictions” makes a breaks through and tells me about how much better they feel. It would be amazing if others starting the process could experience the tears of joy and a little sadness when I meet with the clients at the end of 1 or 2 years of work. When they realize that we can’t come up with any more goals, and we talk about all the changes we have seen along the way. The sadness comes from knowing that you will not see the each other regularly anymore, but at the same time a joyful satisfaction comes as you know someone’s life has been changed for the better. The feeling is indescribable and unbeatable. I usually tear up at least a little.
It is these times that I am reminded of how all the hard work and discomfort is worth it. I only hope some people considering seeking help will read this post and take that first step…and then stick with it when the hard part comes.
photo credit: Travel by Nature Photography