Suffering is optional. I may have mentioned this before but I often see people causing themselves so much misery that I think this reminder is important.
Do you find yourself in the midst of too much discomfort too often? Do you feel more comfortable being uncomfortable? Doesn’t make sense does it?
Do you think suffering makes you a better person? Were you taught to believe that suffering is beneficial?
If you answered yes to any of these you can join the Suffer Club - most of us have been card-carrying members of this club at one time or another. The glorification of suffering has been a strong societal message for many generations.
I have been told from a young age that suffering is what you and I do. I was raised to view this angst as something I offered up (to some kind of God who keeps track) and you get credit in the afterlife for doing it well.
I have also been told that suffering makes your stronger and helps you grow as a person.
Buddha even said, “Life is suffering.” He also said much more about this topic, which created a deeper understanding about how to live free of such discomfort.
It is time to question all these messages because they are a bunch of nonsense rationalized by the ego-mind.
I use to buy those ideas because they helped to explain away things in life that left me disappointed, hurt or confused. My thought was, “that was painful, but I learned from it and won’t do it again.” This school of hard knocks works sometimes but mostly it just leaves us even more confused about ourselves.
An interesting thing happens once you quit this club - most people don’t come back. Leaving suffering behind feels much better than holding on to it.
Truth - in the now you can always move away from suffering. This entangled mindset is most often caused by thoughts of the past or the future. In the present moment, suffering does not exist, or if it does you can always just be aware of it, watch it, question it, change your thinking - and it will go away.
I hope this encourages you to question what’s not working for you, and what’s causing your to suffer. You really don’t need to suffer anymore unless you really want to. You can free yourself from misery now.
A quick review of Suffering Shrinkers:
* Take control of your thoughts by becoming mindful.
* Do your best to eliminate most expectations.
* Live as fully in the present moment as you can.
* Put aside all blaming and instead take full responsibility for all your thoughts and feelings.
* Stop imaging that suffering is heroic or good for you. That is a false belief that needs to be erased from your thinking.
* Focus on the life you want, on having fun and on expressing the endless love of your heart.
Any question? Please don’t hesitate to leave a comment or ask about any concerns you might have. I am passionate about helping to eliminate suffering in your life.
PS I was recently interviewed by Nathan Ohren about journal writing at his blog Write4Life. You will appreciate the interview and Nathan’s blog is great if you find value in journaling.