A wise man told me… “In life, pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional”.
A gross simplification? Yes. Yet true nonetheless. What this simply means to me is that painful situations absolutely will come up in our lives. No question. Nobody is exempt.
I have learned that we can make choices that will affect whether this pain turns into suffering or not. These choices take a lot of work, practice, and repetition. Many of us are in the habit of turning our pain into suffering without ever realizing we are doing it.
We take a problem, and perhaps bathe it in self pity by churning and churning it over in our minds. Thinking about all the ways we were just wronged. Talking to friends about it. And we subconsciously choose friends who will cosign or enable it. Maybe we look for similar situations in the movies and tv we choose tht will cosign our perspective. Driving us deeper and deeper into the original pain of the original injustice.
Thus we have turned pain into suffering. Pain hurts. Thats why they call it…. pain. (deep huh?). Yet it can be finite. The cycle I mentioned above existed in my life. It is taking a lot of practice, support and repetition to stop letting my thinking process from going down the same pathway. This is in part why I created this blog. To do something new instead of just sitting in my stuff. Feeling it over and over.
Life’s amazing when we wake up to the possibilities. We eventually cease to fear pain as much because we learn that pain can mean growth.