Life Is Suffering; It Does Not Mean We Should Suffer

I think we all have been there. Me for sure. More than once. Repeatedly time. The wallowing in pain and suffer. Feeling like you are about to suffocate from the despair you exhibit.
The pain of unmounted levels and the feeling that nothing is interesting anymore.
It seems like many of us, if not all, have been there or are there. Again, me included.  The idea of living without pain and suffering has been impossible. Almost offensive to me, when presented.
How on earth would anyone be anything else than pain and suffering. Life is not fair, and the sheer thought of that statement, that life is not fair, is painful in itself.

It would aggravate me and offend me. As if all my collective suffering would be greater than anyone else suffering.
It seemed as well as it was this what life was about. Endless pain and no happiness in sight.
Why would everyone work against me and my happiness? If people could just act and be so I could feel happy.
It was in fact everyone else faults the whole debacle of pain and suffering.

Really mean people!

After my most recent meeting with hello darkness my old friend though, I had the good fortune to be around a friend who took me into a new train of thoughts, and on that have I built something new.

Buddhists believe that suffering is part of life, to be expected, and that if a person experiences pain calmly, without becoming emotionally distressed, he can attain greater states of being.

Life Is Suffering; It Does Not Mean We Should Suffer

What is then the difference between these two statements?

Looking at it from a language standpoint we have a thing: Suffering and we have an action: To suffer.

One is an observation we can say and one is the action we are doing.

I can observe that life around me is suffering. It is. I will not take that away from anyone.
My divorce was inherently painful.  Living as a single mom without proper salary and the stress it put on me was also huge suffering.  Me ending up in the hospital at the mental ward as I totally burned out from the suffering.

Life is suffering. It is. It is painful to live and most of the things that we endeavor are painful. It is not fair and a lot of times are we treated unfairly. We do things we do not want and are pushed to people we do not maybe like because we are in a position that we cannot do anything else. 
These are all sufferings. They are hard and painful things that happen.

I can also observe how I act.
There are big events happening in life from which we cannot escape. I was getting a divorce was; I was going to live on air and bread from now on.

I acted it.

I went into it with all the pain that one can imagine.  Before I had my mental breakdown, after moving back to Prague and Europe, I lived in stress and agony and pain. I wallowed in my pittieness and whenever something positive came my way, I immediately dismissed it.
It would not make any difference anyhow, as my suffering was bigger than anyone else. Mine made sense and I had no other option than to live like this. In this. Unless maybe all people around me started to act in the way so I could stop feeling pain or that all bad things happening would stop happening.
Then it all would be OK.


Here is where I truly think I was wrong. And so many like me. We live the suffer instead of being trajected by it.

There is a difference between a thing and an action.  We can observe and then we can choose.

Before Life Transformation
dav

Then What? A Life With Suffering; Without Pain

Pain is a basic instrument for our body signaling that something is wrong. The suffering is there. You feel pain. Now what we have to do is to remove it.
That is the purpose of suffering. To overcome it and to act on it. If we do not act on it, we stay in the state of suffering and we begin to suffer.
We begin to see the world as a black, dark and lonely place. Very often blaming others for their good fortune and how we cannot have the same. As we are suffering.

Believe me, I have done this. Over and over and then again over.

In the last years, after my collapse, I decided to live a life not in suffer. It has really not been easy and I have slipped up many times and wondered if this is really the path to walk.
To see the suffering, acknowledge it, and move on. This is what I am doing. Even more so the last year.
I decided that I was done feeling like the world was about to crumble. I had just had enough.
So small changes at first. I decided to everyday work on myself; to become a little bit stronger and a little bit better version of myself than I was yesterday.
I reconciled with the idea, that I will have struggles and hardships for the rest of my life.

This is what life consists of so why try to escape it.

The funny part is, that once I reconciled with that idea, and that happiness is not the ultimate goal but removal of pain is; a lot of pain disappeared.
So after deciding that every day I should be a bit better, I had to look at the things that brought me too much pain and clinically look at it and remove it.

I just had to do, whatever I needed to do, to be able to observe something and see it for what it was and make changes.
because that is what suffering is telling you to do. Change. Evolve. Move forward.
It has been everything. Jobs. Friends. Hobbies. Dreams. 
it is hard as f**k to start with, as everything is at the beginning. Everything has a learning curve. Am I doing the right thing? What if I make a mistake in what I think is right?

Well, if one action or situation or person or whatever gives you the same feeling over and over or we do the stupidest things that we feel ashamed of. Anxiety about. Stress from.
There sherlock, that is your cue. You are in pain and you need to honor that sign and do something about it.
And the amazing part is, that if we for some reason see that what I thought was the right thing to do in the end was not. We can always do something about that too. I am not saying it will be easy, not at first. Just as nothing is easy at first. Remember when I was going to go for my first run and I failed after about 10 meters.
This is just the same.
I run 10 kilometers today. You can as well if you are willing to change and do the work.


If I Skip It Once I Should Just Skip It Forever- Why?

This is me. In so many aspects of my life and it really frustrates me. I do not understand where it comes from and why I have it. It is not procrastination, as I do have issue with that as well.
So what am I talking about?

I am on a roll. It can be whatever. Exercise, writing, reading, learning.
Now lately it was this- writing.
I said to myself that I want to have a plan of creating a post every 3 days. I think it is the track I can follow. I think that making more post a week will water down the blog. I will not try to make nice writing, make some sense in my writing, and I will be just stressed by it. I do this for fun and love of writing and not because I want fame or money.
I do want people to read, as I honestly think people can benefit from my words. But that is the point.

So every 3 days, to keep some track and so readers feels that it is enough of post coming and knowing that there is something new coming up.
It makes sense.

What happened to the plan?

Nothing. And this is what happened. It was not procrastination.
The definition of it is this:
Trouble persuading yourself to do the things you should do or would like to do. When you procrastinate, instead of working on important, meaningful tasks, you find yourself performing trivial activities.

I have read about it over there : What is Procrastination And it is not what I did.

So came the day of posting my blog. I had it planned. I had a topic, I had photos I had the text done in my head. It was just to write it. It was not that I did something else instead. It was just a busy busy day.
I am single mom, in a lockdown pandemic and I do have a lot to do. So Tuesday last week came and it went.
And that is the problem.
I did not do it due to procrastination, I did it due to life. Life came in the way and I had no time.

The Voice in my head then goes like

You will not have time tomorrow either. It will be really busy and you have too much to do anyhow. The day after that as well. And then Friday comes and you have a plan already then and you will not fit this blogpost in. There is no time. And then it has already been 6 days since the last post, and then you have ruined your plan of blogging every 3rd day.
People will not be interested in someone who is wishy washy with their publications. So then it makes no sense writing one and it is better to just skip it all together.

This is not just about blogging.

It is about everything.

  • I skip my language learning for 1 day and I feel it is pointless to even do it the next day, as I have failed myself once and now it is all ruined.
  • I do not do my exercise for 1 day and the same story again.
  • Not eating right, guess what? I do not need to do it again as I ruined it for ONE FING day.
Photo by Alexas Fotos on Pexels.com
this is not working anymore

In the past I have maybe been comforted by this. So this has might been helpful for me in the past, as I felt overwhelmed by life and I was trying so many things and struggling to get anything of the table so it was a helpful habit. Negative but actually still helpful.
I did not really want to grow. That is the only idea I have about it.
– Why else?

The things is though. I really want to grow now. I have a urge and ambition to go somewhere in life. Not professionally but personally. I want to become better and evolve. I have this feeling of being stuck as the same persona and I need to move on.
This habit is really not working for me anymore. It is so engraved in me though, that it is extremely hard to change. As I do not know what it is. It destroys so much in its way. It leaves me so unproductive and almost lethargic.
It frustrates the hell out of me. I want to go somewhere in life. I have plan in action and retrospectives and reviewing what I am doing. Daily planning etc etc.
So why do I feel that if I ship it once, I should just keep skipping it?

Why do I reinforce this? What do I keep on feeding myself this stupid stupid idea?

Moving forward?

I do not know. I am happy I did write this post, as in my head I had abandoned this blog and it was a story of the past.
As so many times before.
As I mentioned before, this is not my first blog rodeo and the mentioned reason has been the only reason why I have stopped in the past. Nothing else.
Failing my language learning has only been due to this. I have been over it for ages already but I just do not seem to change it on a profound level and I do not know what to do.

All I know it just has to change.

Sinking Funds and How They Helped Me Overcome Stress

Sinking funds work like this: Every month, you’ll set money aside in one or multiple categories to be used at a later date. With a sinking fund, you save up a small amount each month for a certain block of time before you spend. – Dave Ramsey

One huge stress factor in my life has been money and my finances. I might not have had the best ideas of finances but I did get by. Then I got married, for our standards today young at 25, we put all money in one basket so to say. We had the advantage that we earned quite some money so the idea if budgeting and tracking was not needed we felt. We were able to live like we wanted and felt like.
Funny thing is that that money that we so harmoniously shared at the beginning of our marriage, turned into only one persons possession once the separation was clear. Not just the money, but what we had use the money for- acquiring of a flat, furniture and our life.

I was not that lucky person.

I was left with absolutely nothing. Zero. Null. Zilch. All my financial stability was taken away from me, from one second to another. From having a flat, a car, furniture, and food in the fridge I was left with a flat that had a borrowed mattress, pillow and duvet. A cup and a instant coffee, sugar, kettle and a spoon.
This was it. For a long time I lived on without anything.
More than once did I need to ransack my bags, and pants, and check under the sofa to find few coins for bread and transportation for my child and myself to work.

Needless to say, I struggled financially after the divorce. And it created a huge stress and burden on me. Knowing that my daughter had to witness her mother in tears and stressing out, from the fact she needed to eat as there were no money, still makes me sad.
The shame of not having enough money to send her to school with the required equipment. Not knowing if we would be able to pay the rent or not. If I could have her living with me as I had no money for basic needs.
The thing I should have done I stopped doing and what I should have stopped doing I started doing. I did what I do best in stress. Eat. My weight started creeping up.

Starting Back from scratch again

I was able to return to Europe a year and a half after the divorce and the situation was not very well either. I had arrived with 4 suitcases and a scattered life and needed to restart again. But I was able to start to work on my finances after some time here. I sorted out a proper job that eventually could lead into better earnings. Slowly but surely did I go from bad to better situation. I did not need to live from day to day in my life anymore, but I could start live at least paycheck to paycheck which for me was a great improvement.
Living from one day to another is not a great way to live, then a month to month is considerably better.


But even though it was better, it never really improved on a real scale though. Even though I had better job, and better income. It was always something that happened, which drained all the small savings I had started. Always one emergency away from chaos. And as it was all together in one pot, I was never really sure about what I was actually saving for.
Beginning of school year expenses, yearly ticket with public transport, winter seasons and its clothes. And let us not think about Christmas and birthdays. I had a bit of a financial chaos back home as well. Would it never stop? There were quite some times when I did think I would need to surrender and just give up. One thing I am expert in doing when in stress is what?- EAT
And eat I did.

Something had to be done though. It could not be like this for the rest of my life. Always living in this angst world. There just had to be a way.
You might say Universe provide, I just say luck or that I was actually opening my eyes for a solution. And the solution came in the shape of a blog post. I came across The Financial Diet

Getting my first sinking fund in order

Right around November, people start saving rapidly for Christmas, Hanukkah, etc. But what if you had been putting $15 or $20 a month away, for a no-sweat holiday season? This, in essence, is the value of sinking funds. Minimize the stress you feel about large, predictable expenses through small, long-term savings goals.

This is exactly what I read. And it hit a cord inside me. I did budget to some degree but then those yearly expenses came. Or the unexpected expense that comes with a broken phone. Anyone that knows me can testify that I am expert on this field.
So why not try something new.
I started my first sinking fund to fund Christmas 2019. My plan had been to leave to visit family in Sweden and I had stressed about the idea, of how I would afford it. So 4 months ahead I started to, quite aggressively, put away some money.
I hit the goal and we went for a Christmas trip up to Sweden. It was a strange feeling as it was the first time I did not totally stress out about what we spent. I knew I had the money and it would not affect next month.
Maybe I was onto something.

  • I decided to continue that fund for Christmas 2020. And every month I put away 500 Czech crowns– 20 euro. In the end it was 6000 which would more than cover the expenses for my girl and I.
  • In the end of February my yearly ticket was up. I needed to get a new one. I had to get a small loan for it. I knew what my next Sinking fund would be for Transportation pass.
    I added 250 czk every month and by the end of this month I will get a new yearly ticket, with money over which will be my base for next years ticket.
  • My daughters birthday would come, as it does every year somehow in the past I would always get so surprised by it, by the end of October. Why not get one for that too? So again, an amount of 500 CZK over the course of 8 months, did end up with quite something.
  • I went freelancer last year, and income tax would be paid by me once a year. Even though it might not feel too much fun to remove an amount every month, 500 CZK was not that much compared to 6000 in one go.
Life with sinking funds vs without


I keep adding on Sinking funds into my Bank app. I have free accounts and it makes it all so much easier. The money are clearly divided and I see exactly how much I have, or need. To have a big chunk of money with no destination was so intangible for me. How did I know if I had enough money for everything?
I did not.
Now it is all so clear.
I just received an invoice for my freelancer address which I had totally forgotten about. I had the money but needed to play with my budget to be able to pay it. I needed to deprive myself from something this month to be able to get that big payment made.
I directly opened a new fund and will put a small amount every month so I will have it covered next year. This way I do fund all the things I want to have money for and want to do by a little every month nd without depriving myself from living during I save.
Some funds are long term goals and I only put in money once in a while or when a short term goal has been reach, not to send too much money to the sinking funds either. Dentist and house payments are not needed to add to every months whilst Summer vacation 2021 get a bit more attention now.


In many ways, even though it feels bad to say it, 2020 was the best in my life. I overcame the adversity with money. I have not been this financial stable since before the separation. This has reduced my anxiety immensely. And no anxiety means less overeating. No overeating means no weight gain.
I stress so much less. I stress over other things yes but my financial stress is decreased by the handful. I know that slowly but surely all those goals and needed payments are getting funded and I will have the exact or more of the amount needed.
That has had an immensely positive impact on my mental health, where I can sleep at night and I do not stay up wondering how I will be able to get that extra money.
And what I do when I am stressed is to eat. Over eat and overfill myself. I still sometimes do today, but at least not because of my anxiety over my upcoming invoices.