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The First Step to Outgrowing Your Suffering

Talk summary: In this short talk, Guy Finley talks about how dissatisfaction with our lives is not something to be ignored, but rather something that can be transformed through diligent self-study.

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Talk notes: Dissatisfaction is a psychological storm that every human being experiences. The truth is that dissatisfaction is actually a kind of growing pain, but to our present consciousness, it seems like a curse.

We try to put an end to any feeling of dissatisfaction by reinventing ourselves so that we never have to feel that way again. Presently the nature that is dissatisfied sets us out to find something outside of ourselves to resolve it. So the original feeling of dissatisfaction gets covered up underneath an avalanche of plans to find permanent happiness. But when dissatisfaction is treated as a bad thing -- as a thing to be avoided at all cost -- then the whole reason for it is lost.

All dissatisfaction is the expression of individuals reaching the point in which they are no longer content with what they have been giving to themselves. There are stages in our lives -- points of distinct development -- in which there is a natural dissatisfaction, but it is buried by what the world gives us to hide the pain. Our unhappiness, discontent, or irritation at any given moment is not something that we are to disregard, deflect, or bury. Every kind of dissatisfaction represents a very clear point in our possibility to change ourselves in that moment, to go through something that is both necessary and important.

Dissatisfaction grows from the inside out in a person. Self observation shows us that it is not caused by the world outside of us. The dissatisfaction is with the order of being that we are. It is our order of being that establishes what our experience is. There is no separating what we are with what we experience.

The dissatisfaction is the beginning of the emergence of one's soul. One could say that it is the soul asking for a different relationship with life. When we get tired of trying to imagine what we need in order to be happy, we will begin to see that something new must be done with our attention in the moment of our dissatisfaction. The most spiritually successful human being is the one who willingly embraces the dissatisfaction that rises within him or her because he or she understands that it comes from the divine.