sayings about suffering

"Remove desires." — I read Siddhartha in high school, and I recall a character saying that the root of suffering is desire. If we didn't have desires, we wouldn't suffer. Removing desires seemed like a good idea at first, but I tried it, and I found that I couldn't do it, and it seemed like if I did, then I wouldn't do anything at all.. I'd just lie there and die.. which seemed bad.

"Accept everything." — Another character in the book suggested this, and I tried it, and it has actually served me well for a long time. However, more recently, I've been troubled by what it means to "accept" something. For instance, there's that time someone backed into my car and sued me for it and won, and I was angry at them, and also at myself for failing to defend myself against them.. should I have not been angry? Maybe. Maybe "accept" means accept being angry? Not sure.

"Acknowledge everything." — Acknowledge as in look at everything and admit that it's there, as opposed to being unwilling to look at some things. Applied to the car situation above, I take this to mean: be aware of what actually happened, what I did, what they did, how I felt, etc. And that's it. I figure accurate information is good for the brain, giving it the best chance of accomplishing its goals.

"Accept what I cannot change, and change what I can." — Again, I'm not sure what it means to "accept" something, and although the original saying involves asking a higher power to grant me "the wisdom to know the difference", I don't think I've been granted such wisdom, so it doesn't seem good to be too confident about bucketing anything into the "accept" or "change" camps. Also, if something is in the "change" camp, am I meant to be "unaccepting" of it all the time? If it takes a long time to change, this seems like it might be very unpleasant.

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