Suffering? It’s Optional! Did you Know It?

People run in every direction meeting sorrow after sorrow. Why? Because they’re disconnected from themselves. — Pythagoras

Have you ever asked yourself Why do we suffer?
Shinzen Young, a well-known Dharma teacher, describes suffering using the following formula:

Suffering = Pain x Resistance.

What does this mean exactly? 🙂
Pain is part of life and it is inevitable, but suffering is not!
🙂 In fact, we can always control and minimize our resistance. In other words, when we accept the present moment and allow life to be as it is, we do not suffer anymore 🙂

Suffering begins when you mentally label a situation as bad. That causes an emotional contraction. When you let it be, without naming it, enormous power is available to you. The contraction cuts you off from that power, the power of life itself. — Eckhart Tolle

Suffering is a direct consequence of what we believe about the world and how we think it should be. Byron Katie developed a very powerful method to identify and overcome our limiting beliefs. If you want to learn more about it, you can find all the details in Getting Unstuck: 4 Steps to Let Go of Limiting Beliefs and How 4 Powerful Questions Can Set You Free 🙂

If we’re suffering, we are believing something that is not true. When we believe the habitual thoughts fueled by our negativity bias, we live with preconceived ideas of who people are and what “should” be. This leads to judgment, blame and a closed heart. — Tara Brach

To let go of our conditioning, at the first stage of our evolution suffering is necessary. Only when we have had enough of it, we can eventually break free by surrendering to what is. This is when suffering can be transmuted 🙂

And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom. ― Anais Nin

The legend of the alchemist, able to transform metal in gold, is an allegory of the transmutation of suffering. When we finally let go of internal resistance to the present moment, our suffering becomes compassion for oneself and others. This process is beautifully described in Buddhism through the image of the lotus, a plant that transforms mud into a magnificent flower 🙂

It is not up to you what you learn, it is merely up to you whether you learn from joy or through pain. — Marianne Williamson

Always remember that suffering is not necessary to learn your lessons 🙂 You can always choose to accept what is and allow it to transform you 🙂

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Image by Couleur from Pixabay.

 

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