A Deeper Look

At a certain point, one has to wonder…could this be more than just a phase? It seems like my nervousness and trouble sleeping are actually, when you get down to it, more like low-level anxiety or obsessive rumination. Those are more like diagnoses than they are phases.

The best advice I receive is this: “You do not have to suffer.”

Now, as someone who believes in the inherent laws of suffering as a part of the human experience (because I’m a Buddhist) there are a number of ways to look at this. Yes, human beings suffer. Yes, I believe this is inescapable. No, I do not believe this is a pessimistic view. Because while our suffering may always subsist, so may our many strengths as human beings. One of those strengths is clear seeing or wisdom or prajna or whatever you want to call it. It has to do with being fortunate enough to glimpse the cyclical nature of our own situation and to choose otherwise. Just because we can, in certain and sometimes sustained moments, experience genuine spaciousness that is not trapped up in suffering, does not mean that the suffering does not go on. It goes. And goes and goes and goes. The strength I’ve found in the Buddhist approach allows me to simply notice that suffering and not follow or chase it.


Other times, it’s a never-ending battle. And lately, it seems like something more serious. Dare I say, biochemical?

I see the acupuncturist Monday. Already, I’ve been told to go the MD. I don’t “do” MD’s, as they say, except for once a year. However, my prime time insurance through work ends in one month. Do I call? Make an appointment so that she can tell me to try drugs or try a shrink? Both of which I can’t afford and don’t want to do anyway. There is no blood test for this sort of thing and no, thank you, I’m not keen on SSRI’s (that’s speaking from experience). Hmmm.

Today’s task, if I can be brave enough to take things one day at time, will be to not obsessively ruminate over this. Um…Huh.

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