Some of the most powerful Buddhist teachings talk about how the material of our daily lives fuels our gradual transformation.
The teachings of Jack Kornfield, as shared in his classic A Path with Heart, are a great example of this.
Our difficulties are a pointer. Not to what is wrong with the outer world, but to the resistance that happens in our inner world. Our troubles are not due to what is happening in the world. They are instead because of how we label and interpret what is happening.
Are we pushing it away, or are we clinging to it?
Do we want it to be different? How so?
Are we inserting a "should" somewhere? "He should have known better." "It should be different."
Do we think it isn't fair?
Life just is. Everything else we add with our thoughts.
It is easy to notice this in other people. It's not so easy to notice in ourselves. But to notice is to start a lifelong, and completely unpredictable, process of change.
It can be scary to start this process, because we don't know what is going to happen. But we don't know what will happen if we don't, either.