A Meditation on Life: Pervasive Unsatisfactoriness

Experience teaches me again and again that nothing I do… no matter how honorable my intentions or diligent my efforts… will ever be perfect.

Experience teaches me again and again…

… that, even when things are going well, happiness is always a moving target.

… that I can never live long enough to do all those things I would like to do.

… that the perfect job, the perfect partner, the perfect place to live do not exist.

… that the grass will always be greener somewhere else.

… that today’s blessings and enthusiasms so easily become tomorrow’s burdens and drudgeries.

… that even my proudest accomplishments eventually lose their shine.

… that every heartbeat spent on this desire is a heartbeat not spent on that desire.

… that sometimes one good must be sacrificed for the sake of another.

… that sometimes the best you can do is accept a lesser evil.

… that honorable ends sometimes justify unpleasant means.

… that doing the right thing is often at odds with my own comfort, health, and safety.

… that peace of mind, except for the most fortunate among us, is the exception, not the rule.

… that even my own desires… for autonomy and community, security and adventure, solitude and intimacy, comfort and meaning… live in constant tension with each other… and can never be fully resolved.

… that life can be so messy and unpredictable that it is impossible to know what I would have done differently even in the full light of retrospection.

… that there are no recipes… no roadmaps… no prescriptions… no easy answers, in any life worth living. There are only difficult choices… with no promises or guarantees.

Why would anyone expect life to be otherwise?

Next Meditation: Boundaries


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