Most of us live our lives with capital letter IFs
- "IF I get that promotion, I will be happy"
- "IF I find a partner, I will stop being lonely"
- "IF I travel to that place, I will have a wonderful time"
- "IF ..."
This leads to us constantly chasing after something out there in a never-ending quest to attain that something - in short, to have a specific experience we long for. Looking at your life, you can clearly see that pattern unfolding over and over again.Waking up offers an alternative to this
: rather than saying "keep chasing after your dreams", it says "let go of them and be free (of suffering)". Nothing in the external world is permanent: holding onto anything that's changing, will inevitably result in suffering, such as, losing a job, not getting a promotion, losing a loved one, being stuck in a place, not being stuck in a place, etc..Eradicating the "causes of what's bothering you" equals "freedom from suffering" which equals "happiness"
. This is something that persistent observation, e.g., via contemplative practice such as meditation, hammers home.
Waking up, e.g,. meditation, allows one to look at their experience right now and to let go of any attachment to it. You'll begin to realize that your experience is arbitrary
(if the circumstances would have been different, your life right now would be different and so the experience you'd be having), yet path dependent
(all the elements that came into play resulted in you having the experience you have right now). That results in you taking it less and less personal. Things simply are, they appear and disappear. You become less and less attached to what's happening to you and instead begin to enjoy the fleeting nature of everything more.