You are the cause of your suffering / are you running a ‘racket’? (Part III)

This post continues the conversation that commenced earlier and which you can find below:

How can you be about/deal with ‘tiredness’ and ‘hopelessness’? (part I)

You are neither the thoughts nor the feelings that show up (part II)

Let’s get present to where your are at (or were at)

“I tend to always fall for men that are dominant and players. It is difficult for me to be attracted to someone who is less witty and dominant, as I have a strong character. Although I know that it will always lead to hurt and abandonment, am like a moth to a flame.

This is one aspect of your life that you shared with me. You also shared the following with me:

  • “I guess I am feeling the loss of physical intimacy, someone to just be there to hold me when I’m feeling lost and alone.”
  • “Tired of searching for ‘the one’ to be my life companion – whilst desperately longing for one.”

You are the cause of your suffering and you can give it up this instant

There is what you want to be so. There is what is so. There is a difference between what you ‘want to be so’ and ‘what is so’. This difference shows up as ‘painful’ – an issue to be dealt with / a problem to be solved. And you are probably telling yourself that once you have solved this one, met the ‘one’ your life will work out and you will live happily ever after.

Do you notice something interesting? There is no ‘issue’ no ‘problem’ in the world as it is. You are generating this ‘issue’, this ‘problem’, this ‘upset’ and the suffering that goes with it. Let me be plain: YOU are the cause of your own suffering! And you can choose to not suffer – you can do that right now. Let’s take a look at this in more detail:

You have bought into and are living out of a myth. Here is how it goes: I can only be happy if/when I find the ‘one’; the ‘one’ is out there; once I find the ‘one’ or he finds me then all will be great and I will live happily ever after. I know many people who have found the ‘one’ and then found out, later, that life has not worked out and bliss is not ever present. I know of people who have found the ‘one’ only to lose the ‘one’ through death – and they are left grappling with that. I know of people who have found the ‘one’ and then the ‘one’ has cheated and/or left them for another – and these people are left grappling with that. What if you let go of this myth? What if you let go of putting conditions on happiness? What if you choose to be with the fact that right now the ‘one’ is not in your life and you choose to put happiness into your life? Notice that when you put these conditions onto life you are constructing your own prison.

“I know that it will always lead to hurt and abandonment”. Is this so? Let’s take a look at hurt, specifically how you (and I) create hurt. Notice that hurt arises in relation to people and pets. How does it come about? We create and live out of expectations around people – especially those who we are close to / those close to us. We may or may not share these expectations with them. They may or may not agree to our expectations. When the expectations are not met what shows up? Hurt. The bigger the gap between the demands we place on people (whether communicated or not) and what we get/do not get from these people the bigger the hurt. If you and I genuinely want to be free from hurt then we can do that right now: give up any and all expectations of people. You can even go further and ‘expect’ that every single person will act to get what he/she wants out of life – to act ‘selfishly’. Don’t you do the same? So what is the big deal when others do the same as you, same as me? If you practice this you will notice that there is no space for ‘abandonment’ in your life. ‘Abandonment’ is a function of making demands on people, on life, that life does not fulfil. Put differently, it is label for a specific kind of hurt.

Are your running a “racket”?

During my participation in Landmark Education I was exposed to the distinction “racket”. What is a racket? I say a racket is made of the following:

  • Fixed way of being e.g. being demanding, being critical, being helpful, being miserable…
  • Fixed set of behaviour – doing the same things over and over again
  • Recurrent complaint – about someone, something, about yourself
  • Payoff – usually hidden, not acknowledged – what you get out of being/doing what you are being/doing

Let’s get clear on this: you find a certain type of man attractive; you go for this type; you get what you get and you take it; at some point the ‘hurt’ and ‘abandonment’ shows up in your life’; you ‘beat yourself up’ in some way or form; you do the same again and again; and then you plead that you are simply a ‘moth to a flame’.

Well you are not a ‘moth’! You are human being who can envisage future, see possibilities, be other than that which you are being, pursue possibilities/paths other than what you are on today, do stuf that you are not doing today, stop doing stuff that you are doing…. you can even choose to give up your life. To be a human being is to be ‘the one that is always the chooser, always, not that which is chosen nor that which shows up or is imposed’. You can play at being ‘small’, ‘helpless’ even ‘pathetic’, that might work with you friends/family – it does not work with me. I relate to you as a ‘force of nature’ who can at any and all times invent and live into futures that leave your experience of living transformed. You are ‘BIG’, you really are. The question is, when will you choose to ‘play BIG’?

So now that we have distinguished the upper most level of racket – playing ‘small’ and asking for ‘leniency’ or ‘help’ let’s move on to the second level of your racket as I see it. Notice, I am not making truth claims. I am simply sharing my perspective with you, you might not like it and I say that is fine, try it out and see if it works. If it works then keep it, if it does not then you can drop it – I am not attached to it, you won’t hurt my feelings. Back to racket.

I say that you ‘ok’ with what is so including the ‘hurt’ and ‘abandonment’. Why? Because whatever it is that you are getting is of more value to you then the cost that you are paying. Put differently, the ‘payoff’ exceeds the ‘cost’ and so you continue doing what you are doing. Do you want to create the space in which you can choose to give up this game? Then look ruthlessly at the payoff – this will taking brutal honesty with yourself and we, human beings, are poor at that. What might that ‘payoff’ be?

  • You get to be right about men – they cannot be trusted, they are selfish;
  • You get to be right about yourself – you are small, helpless, cannot help yourself, cannot control yourself, you are passionate-different-trusting…..
  • You get sympathy – you can tell the story of how life is not working out and get attention, get sympathy………..
  • You get out of demands that you or others would otherwise place on you – after all if you are ‘hurt’ and ‘abandoned’ then you can give yourself a ‘get out of jail for free’ card and others typically do the same for you
  • By playing this ‘game’ you keep yourself occupied rather than being bored – it is better than ‘nothing’
  • Your belief in the myth of the ‘one’ continues intact and your dreams are not shattered……

The list is endless yet the buckets are not. What do I mean? Some wise folks have pointed out that human behaviour is driven by:

  • Looking good avoiding looking bad – which is why walk around with masks and are almost never truly ourselves
  • Being right and making others wrong – even if that means going to war and millions get killed
  • Dominating others and avoiding being dominated – in a family there is no-one as dominant as the one that gets the others to believe that he/she is helpless, ‘small’ and needs to be given special exemptions and be looked after!
  • Validating yourself (everything including your beliefs and points of view) and invalidating others – I experienced a great example of this morning when Matthew, Jehovah’s witness came to my door to show me the error of my ways and convert me.

Breaking free from your “racket”

‘Sister’ be ruthless with yourself and get clear on the ‘payoff’ and the ‘cost’ of playing this game. When it comes to ‘cost’ look at both the cost that you pay now, that you are paying longer term, and the cost that the people in your life pay. When you have written that out then get present to it – step into it, experience it. Once you have done that – are clear on the ‘payoff’ and ‘cost’ as experienced – then choose. Choose to play this game of falling for/going for the dominant men, the players, and if you do this then you give up complaining. Or choose to give this game up. If you choose to give it up then you create space to invent a more inspiring-moving-touching-uplifting game.

Finally, remember what I said earlier – you are creating your own suffering and you can give that up right now. How? Be with life as it is and as it is not. I wish you well and it will not make a difference. You, only you, are the difference that can make a difference to your experience of your living. Your destiny lies in you.

Author: Maz Iqbal

Experienced management consultant. Passionate about enabling customer-centricity by calling forth the best from those that work in the organisation and the intelligent application of digital technologies. Subject matter expert with regards to customer strategy, customer insight, customer experience (CX), customer relationship management (CRM), and relationship marketing. Working at the intersection of the Customer, the Enterprise (marketing, sales, service), and Technology.

14 thoughts on “You are the cause of your suffering / are you running a ‘racket’? (Part III)”

  1. Maz,
    I got this poem from a friend, who in turn got it from a friend. My friend had said the poem reminds him of me. I guess, we all have a racket going and understanding the secondary gain or payoff will release us from the ‘strategy’ we fall back to when in similar situations.

    Despite Everything

    I SMILE …
    although life hits me,
    although not all the sunrises are beautiful,
    although doors shut down on me. I smile …

    I DREAM …
    because it costs nothing to dream and eases my mind,
    because maybe my dreams can be fulfilled,
    because it makes me happy to dream.

    I CRY …
    because crying purifies and soothes my soul, my heart,
    because my anxiety decreases, if only slightly,
    because every tear is a purpose to improve my existence.

    I LOVE …
    because to love is to live,
    because if i love, i may receive love,
    because I prefer to love and suffer, than suffer from never having love.

    I SHARE …
    because when i share i grow,
    because my troubles, shared, somehow diminish, and my joys are doubled.

    I smile, dream, cry, love, share …
    I am ALIVE!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello Azilenna
      I thank you for sharing this with me. Your sharing moves me and I am deeply touched. And finally, I apologise for not responding to your sharing: I simply missed this!

      At your service and with my love


  2. Brilliant………….True Genius…..Amazing detail & depth of understanding of the human suffering & how we can set our-self `s free. The outcome are an amazing recipe for unconditional happiness or being happy without reason- the highest form of happiness.
    Gratitude for Sharing.


  3. “This is as good as it gets”, which is to say accepting things the way they are and the way they aren’t, is a direct access to deep, lasting happiness. ~ Laurence Platt

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hello Guatam
    I thank you for taking the time to enter into a conversation with me and to share yourself. And I thank you for passing on / sharing the wisdom of Laurence Platt.

    Yes, this is as good as it gets!

    At your service and with my love.


  5. My friend Gautam shared this blog with me, I resonate completely. What a fabulous blog! I just recently had a conversation about expectations…and that subject of ‘the one”


    1. Hello Patty

      Welcome to the conversation. The myth, the pull, of the one is a strong one. And it is just a myth. YOU are the ONE. YOU are always the ONE. And when you get that you no longer need to search for the one. And at the same time, it is then and only then you create the authentic space for the one to show up or not.

      I can honestly say that I am grateful you exist. And I thank you for the generosity of your sharing. You have given me wings: it matters to me that I put myself into life, that I make a contribution to my fellow human beings.

      Finally, you are welcome to come as after as you like!

      At your service and with my love


  6. Maz- Another friend has shared her input as follows – “In my opinion, however, he’s missing the main point. You can’t beat this lifestyle (or any other for that matter) through a mental tactic. This woman and any other person that sees themselves as a victim or unable to surmount any obstacle NEED to love themselves. That’s the root of it. When we love ourselves unconditionally we don’t ever allow ourselves to be the victim. In saying that, it is an impossibility because we understand that we do indeed make our choices and we are SELF-RESPONSIBLE. When we truly love ourselves unconditionally we also don’t go stealing others energy back to feel good. We understand at a deep level that we are perfection and there is NOTHING we need outside of ourselves. That’s the missing piece in this blog. Self love, without judgment or expectations. Never mind expectations on others…no expectations on one’s self.” ( “Unconditional Love” or Universal Love is a complete acceptance…of yourself and others, and all creation.)


    1. Hello Gautama

      I say that this woman is not a victim, I say that she has been playing the role of victim. I say she has constructed a drama in which she shows up and occurs as a victim. You could say that I say she is the author of the drama. And this applies to all of us.

      In my speaking I am not sharing/advocating mental tactics. I am speaking about ontology and specifically the being of human beings. Of utmost importance is our freedom to own our living, the choices we make, that any moment we can become authors of our lives. That we can be other than who we have been being and thus act other than how we have been acting.

      As for the statements your friends make on unconditional love, I am not in a position to speak. Here I share my experience and I have not arrived at unconditional love. I work at a more practical level: accepting that which is and which is not. It occurs to me that this is something that mere mortals can do with practice.

      And I do not have access to the truth.

      At your service and with my love


      1. Maz,
        I am new to this conversation and see your heart is big and I see part of what you are saying as self-limiting.

        You say that you have not arrived at unconditional love. You haven’t artived because you can’t arrive there. It isn’t a destination, it is a way of being. Being unconditional in all areas of your life means to see what you are committed to and give up what is not aligned with those commitments. We make up all the reasons, beliefs, opinions, conclusions, assumptions and positions and can change them at any moment.

        As a way of being, being unconditional is available at any moment, in any circumstances for any duration. Be present to how you are currently being and choose how you want to be. The same or different. One is not better or worst, just different.

        If you see you are being afraid and choose not to be, choose to BE fearless and courageous. If you see you are being impatient and don’t want to be, choose to BE patient.
        It is that simple.

        It has been my practice for over 20 years and I always feel unconditional love and never emotionally suffer.


  7. Great article encompassing the core of the theory at Landmark education. As a Landmark graduate from quite some time ago it was great seeing that all put together in a single place and as a solid real world example. Certainly has helped me refresh my memory on things. Thanks very much for posting!


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