I am seated facing a spectacular green canopy while writing this and yet for the past few days I’ve been accompanied by a mild but chronic sense of melancholy, made worse by the knowing of how privileged I am and yet nothing seems to bring me joy these days.
Is it because I’ve not been very careful with my diet on this trip, even indulging in a tiny bit of morning coffee? Is it because I’m approaching my menstrual cycle? Or am I just trapped by the biology of my mind?
I am, however, more calm. I’ve been sleeping more soundly and I am observing less anxiety in general. I wonder when will science soundly prove that being surrounded by nature is one of the keys to well-being.
I also wonder why do I/we feel something is off or wrong when we are not “happy/joyful” by default? Is it a judgment to feel that I should be happy because there’s so much to be grateful for? But what if my brain is not wired to feel what we perceive as happiness, am I not causing myself to suffer more by wondering what is wrong with me when it is in my very nature to be this? Or at least, I can’t fault myself for how my brain is wired. I think on and off this year I’ve been realizing that the state I should work towards is not one of joy, but one of peace.
Can I one day stop trying to achieve a state I am not in but rather learn to be present in my moment? Is it possible to be fully alive in the present even if it means to embrace whatever suffering I am enduring, or is suffering unable to co-exist with true presence?
Maybe my suffering comes from the inability to accept who I am. Interestingly in psychotherapy, true change can only happen with true acceptance, that is the paradoxical nature of it.
I used to wonder why monastic people have to meditate so much, it turns out that it is a continuous practice to learn how to pause the conditioning of our brains, the conditioning that perpetuates suffering, because we can’t perceive beyond what our minds are constructed to feel and believe.
The mind likes to live in patterns and will continue to loop itself in patterns — and if unlucky, destructive ones — until we can actively break out of it, even so, only to be replaced by new ones.
Finding inner-peace, is not one momentous insight, but perhaps, a lifetime of practice.