I read a book titled A General Theory of Love. What I remember most was the authors saying that the perfect person could be right in front of one but because of our emotional wiring we would never see them.
I seem to have the perfect ability to pick a man who will never be really available. My unerring prowess to find the flawed relationship might be harnessed for knowing don’t pick that one, don’t go that way. Perhaps I could leverage this skill into a viable profession of what NOT TO DO. I look at my history and see all the markers that when viewed at a distance are like the cones on a slalom race telling the skier where the course is, the boundaries to stay inside. I’ve done a great job of keeping inside the lines of disappointment. My path of choices is not worth mentioning as it only encourages me to self-pity which I would dearly like to wallow in right now. You might have noticed how I am teetering on the edge of that bottomless pit. Suffice it to say, despair and I are old friends.
The first Noble Truth is The Truth of Suffering, duhkha in Sanscrit. To the uninvestigated view this seems to take a ‘Debbie Downer’ point of view. In truth, it is the recognition of this that allows one to see that lasting happiness doesn’t lie in the transitory pleasures that are touted to be the answer. Investigation further revels the all pervasiveness of this truth and leads to profound insight and the determination to walk the path to clarity and wisdom.
I’m not qualified to speak with authority on the Four Noble Truths (read Essence of Buddhism by Traleg Kyabgon for an accessible discussion) so I’ll leave that alone. What I can say is how this truth has been validated in my experience. I know it right now while I’m in the pain of unfulfilled love. I also know it when I’m in the rapture of beauty. I know it when I’m feeling the heartache of the human condition where we look, as my friend Art says, ‘for the consistent in inconsistency’. I know it right now as my heart lightens from writing these words.
My love life may be a mess but I am always grateful for how it brings me again and again to the Truth of Suffering. Perhaps my unerring ability is really to find the dharma in my life, my skill to lose the path in false refuge and then again find my way back to what is true. My teacher reminds me that impermanence is on my side. I’m hurting now but this will not last, I was in the bliss of love and that didn’t last. Impermanence and the Truth of Suffering is what we get.