eckhart tolle teachings

The Truth About Unhappiness

Not all unhappiness comes from the pain-body. It arises also from living outside of the present moment, out of alignment with the Now.

When we read that over 70% of Americans are unhappy with the direction their country is going, we may think that this unhappiness arises from the pain-body. Much of it does, but not all unhappiness comes from the pain-body. A substantial amount of your unhappiness comes from the lack of Presence — living outside of the present moment, when you are not in alignment with the Now.

There are many indicators of this misalignment. One is when your experience of unhappiness is disproportionate to your situation or circumstances. It is an overreaction to the situation or circumstance. This is one of the easiest ways to recognize your lack of presence, even though everyone around you will have seen it before you did. You don't know you're not being present because you have become identified with the reactivity, which blinds you to your lack of Presence, your misalignment with the Now. Your friends and family can easily see your identification when insignificant things or events cause you intense unhappiness.

Psychology tells us that these overreactions are, of course, the stimulation of old wounded feelings that are brought back to life, amplifying the structures of the ego. Remember that the pain-body and ego are closely related. Because of the triggering, you hugely distort the importance of the particular event that is bringing on the intense unhappiness. When you are not present, you are continuously looking at the current situation with the eyes of your emotional past. What you are currently experiencing is not part of the situation that upsets you. Unfortunately, reactions, overreactions and all negative emotions are what the pain-body receives its nourishment from.

When this is going on, you are not perceiving reality accurately. Instead, you are seeing the world through a heavily distorted story that traps your access to objective reality and makes you miserable. So the next time you believe your life is “going in the wrong direction”, do a little inquiry to find out if your unhappiness is a movie or dream conspiracy of your pain-body and ego to trap you in your own private hell. The Present Moment is always waiting to bring you back to the truth.

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