I am utterly miserable. How can I get out of my misery?
I have never come across a person who is utterly miserable. You are tolerating it, you are existing with it, you are living with it. If it is so bad one should stop breathing! Why should one go on living?
It can’t be so bad. Maybe you love to exaggerate. There are people who always like superlatives, who magnify everything. Small miseries of course there are, but what big misery can you have? Where will you have it? I cannot conceive of any misery that can be so bad that you can call it absolute; otherwise one will simply die, immediately.
So one thing, remember, stop exaggerating. That is also a way of the ego. The ego is so strange that it wants to exaggerate everything. Even if it is misery it will magnify it, it will make a big fuss about it. There may be nothing much in it: if you go to the roots you may find a mouse, but you are talking about elephants.
And I know you, Vandan. I have never seen you utterly miserable. You look perfectly normal. Unless all normal people are utterly miserable…just the ego has the habit of magnifying.
A boy came running home from school. He was breathing hard, puffing, perspiring. He told his mother, “Somehow God saved me. A tiger is following me, a very dangerous tiger, a very ferocious tiger.”
The mother said, “You stop exaggerating! I have told you a million times not to exaggerate, and again you are doing it. Where is that tiger?”
The boy showed her from the window. A very small dog, thin, lean, hungry, was standing outside. And the mother said, “This is the tiger? You go upstairs, pray to God and ask his forgiveness. And never exaggerate again. Enough is enough!”
So the boy went upstairs. After five minutes he went back to the mother, and the mother said, “Did you pray?”
He said, “Yes, I prayed, and do you know what God said? He said, ‘You don’t be worried. When for the first time I saw that dog I myself thought that it was a ferocious tiger. So nothing to be worried about. I myself was deceived, so what about you? And I am so big, still I thought it is a very dangerous tiger. I was just getting ready to run away, then I had another look and found: oh no, it is just a dog. And you are a small child, so if you got frightened it is natural.’”