Do I #suffer when I fight what I am?

#Comment by Jose Pares Perez. Concepción, Chile

“In which moments of my life do I struggle with what I am? Since I like what I do, I don’t really think I suffer from that.”

“I think that’s great, that’s how it should be. But, how about when you don’t like what you do, when you feel angry about something you cannot handle?”

“No, I just don’t do what I don’t like.”

“Whatever our profession, our condition, state of mind… we sometimes have to do things we don’t like. Most times, we don’t like what we feel. For example, the weather, someone’s tone of voice, a physical or psychological pain, annoying noises, someone’s opinion about me, etc.”

“Now I understand your question. However, those things are not who I am. Those are my feelings.”

“Now we get to the point. We are what we feel, not what we think we are. That’s very important. If you observe yourself in depth frequently, you will realize that you are the present. You are and always will be NOW. Your thoughts are past or future, but they’re not your feelings, your emotions, your perceptions, and even your thoughts of this moment, whether they are about the past or the future. You are what you’re doing right now, not what you were or will be. You’re not the money you have in your pocket, or the diploma that hangs in your office. You are your identity, you are what you feel.”

“It’s really hard for me to accept what you’re telling me.”

“Let me try from another angle. What’s your occupation, what do you do?”

“I am an artist, an oil painter. My paintings sell very well.”

“That’s fantastic! Can we see some of your paintings?”

“Sure. Here’s one. Take a look.”

“Thank you. Let’s see. Hmm… can I give you my honest opinion? I know something of art, specially your style of painting.”

“Don’t scare me. I didn’t realize you knew about art…”

“You see? I have made you suffer with the possibility of my not liking your painting. You were worried that I would say you weren’t a good painter and that made you suffer. Do you understand now what I’m talking about?”

“Yes. Thank you very much.”