BELOVED MASTER, I FEEL SO FRUSTRATED!
So what! You must be responsible for it. If you don’t want to feel frustrated then there is no need. You must be creating it. Nobody else is responsible; if you feel frustrated, you must be reaping the crop which you go on sowing.
But you don’t see the relationship. If you expect too much, you will be frustrated. If you don’t want to be frustrated, don’t expect. Live without expectations and there will be no frustration.
But people go on expecting; they know no ends to their expectation. Then frustration comes in — frustration is the shadow of expectation. Frustration is never the problem, the problem is with expectation.
When you feel frustrated you think that existence is doing something wrong to you. No — you were asking too much. In fact, ask and you will be frustrated. Any asking is asking too much. Don’t ask, be. And then you will be surprised — whatsoever happens is good; you have no way to judge it. Don’t expect, and you see your whole life becomes a joy.
Expect, and your whole life becomes a hell. Expectation is the cause. If you want to change, never start by the effect, start by the cause. Frustration is the effect. You can go on fighting with frustration — nothing will happen, you will become more and more frustrated. Start by the cause, always look for the cause. Whenever you are feeling miserable, go into it and find out where the cause is. and then it is up to you. If you want to drop the effect then avoid the cause; then become aware, more and more aware.
If you are enjoying frustration… because there are many people who enjoy. There are many people who enjoy being miserable. In fact, they cannot tolerate happiness at all. When they are miserable they are happy, when they are happy they feel very miserable. You laugh at it, but this is a truth about the majority of people.
And again, there are reasons. Whenever you are miserable you gain something: sympathy, attention. Whenever you are happy nobody shows any sympathy — in fact,people become jealous. when you are unhappy everybody is a friend, everybody sympathizes with you — even your enemy will sympathize with you. When you are happy even your friend will become jealous and inimical. When you are happy nobody pays any attention to you. People avoid you. In fact, they start thinking you must be mad: Happy? — who has ever heard of anybody being happy?… must have gone crazy or something, or must be pretending. When you are unhappy they accept you. Then they think everything is okay, because this is how things have to be. And people enjoy your unhappiness, that’s why they pay attention — because whenever you are unhappy they can compare themselves, and deep down they can feel good — “So I am in a better position. People are so unhappy! — at least I am not that much unhappy. I am unhappy, but not so much.” He can compare.
The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha, Vol 10