Watching an episode of Coronation Street in which a character was in a state of drunken despair. Realize I have always been afraid of reaching a point in life where there was no point in continuing. Similar to the fear of pain I had in the final stages of labour with one of my children, where I could see a frontier approaching where I would no longer be human, but just an animal in a trap.
This old fear licked the corners of my mind like a malignant flame. “I am willing to understand,” I said. And reached for my book, which happened to be Modern Buddhism: the Path of Compassion and Wisdom by Geshe Kelsang Gyatso.
Talk about getting an answer – in the first few pages, he pointed out that when things go wrong we think the situation is the problem, when in fact it is our minds that are the real problem. And, if we approach the vicissitudes of life peacefully, they are not problems.
Yes, I thought with recognition: it is the emotional charge we attach that makes them unendurable. The same as pain – it is how I describe my situation to myself that makes the pain a crucifixion or a dull rumble in the background of my identity.