A couple of weeks ago, we were on our way back from Montreal and got stranded in Philadelphia. Three hundred flights were cancelled, and there were no hotel rooms. After being on a tiny flight with three seats per row, circling the airport for hours takes a toll on your tolerance limits when deciding the next steps. So, I had my plan—that we would get home on Sunday and start work on Monday morning. And now, I was trying to make it all work despite the flight cancellation around midnight. We got an Airbnb and then drove back home after attending calls on Monday.

Recently, I was upset with a colleague at work because they did not speak up in a meeting, which caused me a lot of anguish. I wanted them to take the first step in making amends, to call me and say they were sorry, but this never happened because their side of the story differed from mine.

And I remember my first-ever love—I wanted it to work out even though it was clear it wasn’t right. I wanted him to say and do many things, none of which would happen.

We each die countless little deaths on our way to the last. We die out of shame as humiliation. We perish from despair. And, of course, we die for love.

In all the above scenarios, a part of me died. The reality I wanted did not happen, and that caused my heart to break. And even though it is all in my head, the pain in my heart is real – the heart is inside the body, so it does not know what is happening or not. All it knows is what I am experiencing, whether in real life or in my head. And despite all the self-work and meditation I do, it still hurts when things don’t go my way. I obviously don’t like to get hurt, so I try to protect myself, but I know now that suffering is a part of life and avoiding it will also lead to suffering.

When the ego weeps for what it has lost, the spirit rejoices for what it has gained.

So, why does it hurt when things don’t happen as we want them to or when reality is not what we want it to be? Every time that happens, something dies—our hopes, plans, and imagined reality die without being born. In some ways, what dies is our Ego because what ‘I’ wanted did not happen, but what the Universe wanted happened. Ego lost the battle of wills—the loss is saddening—another kind of death.

So, until I have Ego(s) in my suffering, it is inevitable. Does this mean I succumb to it and live my life dreading the next time something I want does not happen? I could, but there are other ways to experience this, which may make it more attractive. One, I could close myself from all life’s experiences and try to control everything even though control is an illusion. Second, I could make things go my way. Third, I could go into a rant when that happens. Fourth, I could use suffering as a way out of suffering and rejoice that I am getting lighter as I die these small deaths.

A part of the human experience is the ability to enjoy the drama – so there is no right or wrong way. There is just acknowledgement and awareness that this is the human predicament.

What is your relation with the human predicament at this moment?

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