Suffering is caused in part by trying to dispute reality. When faced with a situation that we disagree with, dislike or detest it is not uncommon for people to put up some resistance towards aspects of life that are difficult. This looks like conjuring up an ideal of how things should be, or could be different. When faced with the difficult, the painful and the uncertain, our mind attempts to seek solace and does so through generating solutions. At times we invest ourselves into playing out an alternative reality in our minds where we have generated solutions for essentially different problems. Disputing reality also involves focusing on what we may have given up, getting angry at the situation or people who have caused us pain or unsolicited change. Herein lies the birthplace of suffering, the space that exists between how we think things should be and how they are not and the discomfort that is generated.
What if I told you that this is exactly what contributes to making life so difficult and hard at times? By focusing all our energies upon “what is not” we are increasing suffering. All the while, we are somewhat denying ourselves an opportunity to come to terms with “what is” and all that it entails. Consider for a moment, how much mental, emotional and at times even physical energy can be consumed by suffering. We may lose sleep, productivity or connection living in this space of resistance. We may find ourselves feeling angry, overtly declaring resistance or even shutting down.