Changing the way we look at suffering
Can we change the way we look at suffering?
The biggest reality of life is that every human being on this earth suffers. Suffering it is innate in birth, growth, aging, and death, and is this suffering that creates the cycle of life.
Suffering is embedded in the very condition of human existence. This doesn’t mean that God has created us wrong. It rather means that before we take any action there is a pre-existent fragility. All human happenings take place in a realm that is not shaped entirely by our decisions or desires.
Suffering carries out its own message. Do we take time to read it?
When we suffer we learne to pursue what is meaningful for us, and let go of what is convenient. The desire for finding lasting happiness arises from not accepting the pain and suffering us a reality of life. It is very easy for us to accept and sick pleasure, but very hard to digest pain. We continuously search for ways of withdrawal from suffering. Accepting only pleasure and rejecting suffering weakens us and breaks us apart. As a result, we live a complex life in a state of total disintegration.
Suffering it is innate in birth, growth, aging, and death
The first of “ Four Noble Truths” Buddha thought was “ Life is Suffering”. This is one of the greatest truths that we refuse to accept. There is suffering in a child that wants to grow and become free of his parents’ rules. Also, there is suffering in a young adult that wants to have things that he can’t have, or he has to work hard in order to afford them. Existential suffering consumes our energy from morning to night in such a way that when we face the real challenge we feel defeated by the “personal suffering”.
The causes of sorrow or the object of sorrow may vary, but “my suffering” and “your suffering” isn’t any different. Therefore, suffering is not personal. Many times we think ” the rest of the world is happy, but only I suffer”. The mind is a very versatile tool that has the ability to make suffering personal, while it is really a human condition. We do not realize that all we do in life is searching for the end of this suffering in the wrong place. When we feel that we are like the rest of mankind, suffering becomes mindless.
When we live in a youth-oriented society aging can be an overwhelming source of suffering, as we struggle against the inevitable. Also, cultural tendencies can generate a great deal of distress making us feel like aging is a failure. While on the contrary aging can be the real thing. Only if we can allow to shift our attention from worldly things and focus on conscious aging. It is life long cultivated wisdom that helps us to become an incarnation of wisdom. Well-being and satisfaction can come from overcoming pain, rigidity, and loss.
Suffering helps us to pursue what is meaningful, and let go of what is convenient.
The role of physical and mental suffering it is revealing as it carries out messages that indicate growth delay, danger, ignored problems, or unpleasant situation. Despite its disturbing nature, it is suffering that wakes us up to fight and cope with what we face. It is suffering that makes us reflect on what is meaningful for us and what would make us happy. Also, it is suffering that makes us find out what we really want in this life.
Refusing to accept pain and suffering
It is easier to accept pleasure, then digest pain. While resisting to suffering our behavior is changing under our eyes. The tendency in our culture is to hide our vulnerabilities behind some special powers. While in reality, we work hard to protect ourselves from not showing to the world that deep inside we are vulnerable human beings.
Unfortunately, we created in our culture an educative system of withdrawal from suffering. We do not realize that we systematically learn to withdraw from the truth of the moment. As a consequence, we create more suffering. We miss learning that our truth is inclusive, and not separate from what we experience. For example, as young children, we learn from our parents how to deal with pain and suffering. “I would rather hide or lie than showing someone that I suffer.” The child learns to play strong and suppress his real feelings. After he/she grows up with the feels that never received support or have been understood. Remember that only authentic parents can grow authentic children.
The human creation is designed by nature to experience the emotion of sorrow in the face of difficulties, confusion, ignorance, conflict, delusion, and limitations. We are born in suffering, we live in suffering, and we die in suffering. We do not realize that all we do in life is searching for the end of this suffering in the wrong place. Can we change the way we look at suffering and understand its nature?
“Pain and suffering are always inevitable for a large intelligence and a deep heart. The great men must, I think, have great sadness on earth. /