Suffering – Not Optional

I once heard the idea that pain is inevitable, but suffering is optional. It didn’t work for me at the time. It felt like I was being told – if you don’t like crying stop chopping the onion.  Uh – Ok.  That’s all it takes?  I was annoyed because it sounded trite and judgmental which only compounded the hurt I was feeling. It didn’t seem to fit.

Suffering was so uncomfortable. I was restless. I had to claw my way out so I could feel like it was potentially survivable. I began ruminating not just about the initial pain, I began to try to figure out my suffering. I was essentially mixed up in my own mind.

Then one day, I woke up tired of myself. I needed new ideas to build new memories and help dissolve my runaway thinking. That meant I had to walk step by step thru my suffering.

I investigated why I hurt so much.

What was the source of that kind of brutal internal pain?

How COULD I feel so awful?

Why did I allow the self-abuse of rumination?

Ultimately, it was my conscientiousness run amok.

I had to give myself permission to release circular thinking so I could make room for new soul-feeding ideas.

In essence, I took the whole thing apart and looked at it from as many angles as I could think of.

You know what allowing suffering to run it’s course did?

It gave me a new appreciation for its opposite – pleasure. Pleasure is so much lovelier now.

Allowing suffering versus fighting it and being thrown by it actually taught me to sit with sadness better.  I learned not to run from it or shun it…but allow it…feel it and let it move thru me.

Suffering taught me to savor and sweeten moments when I decide to quiet down and feel fully -trusting the mind’s process and the heart’s intent.