Suffering happens when we wish things were different than they are. Period.
Pain happens in life. Every person in the Universe faces challenges and difficult situations. Every one of us.
We think we are suffering because the other person did something that hurt us, or because we don’t earn enough money to take the vacation we want, or we lost our job, or we weigh more than we want to weigh, or we’ve suffered an injury or accident, or because someone we love passed.
But the suffering – the continued worsening of the pain – is something we create by wishing things were different than they are. I’m not saying those things aren’t hard or painful. They are difficult and challenging and they will absolutely slow us down some. However suffering is not caused by ‘what is.’ We cause suffering by RESISTING ‘what is.’ We’re human. Pain is a normal part of existence.
But when we spend hours, days or weeks puzzling over why this has happened to us, or how we might have prevented it, or how we can still make things turn out ‘right’ or how we just wish so MUCH that things turned out differently – that is RESISTING what is. Resisting what is causes suffering.
Suffering is optional because we’re creating it ourselves!
What is it you’re resisting?
What would happen if you simply allow it to be what it is?
What would it mean to accept the situation as it is?
What would change for you?
Once upon a time, I lived on a diet composed mostly of wheat and dairy. I LOVE the stuff! Give me a bagel with cream cheese for breakfast, a quesadilla for lunch, and pizza for dinner and I am delighted! Then I found out that I am allergic to wheat and dairy after becoming extremely ill from eating too much of the stuff.
I was miserable thinking of all the cheese I would never eat again!
I was mad at the world for the unfairness of my challenge, and disappointed in my body for not being able to handle my fave foods like a “normal” person. I couldn’t picture a world where I could possibly ever hike again, because everyone knows the perfect fuel for hiking is bread and cheese! Right? Luckily for me, I couldn’t resist the changes because I was too sick, but I SUFFERED. Believe me, I made sure of that.
Now, it’s completely normal to feel disappointed in a situation like that. But it’s not normal (or healthy) to resist what is. My body cannot handle something I want it to do. That’s the fact. I can choose to resist it and resent it and be miserable about it, and no one would blame me!
But what happens if I simply accept the fact? EVERYTHING shifts.
I’m no longer draining my energy. I’m not feeling victimized. Shifting my perspective is the key. I accept the situation as it is, and then I am free to play with new options that make me feel powerful instead of deprived!
YES, I love cheese, but what I truly, deeply want is vibrant good health which is vitally more important than the temporary and fleeting pleasure of a bowl of ice cream! ESPECIALLY when it’s so much fun
to discover fuels my body LOVES like mangoes and blueberries!
As soon as we accept what is, we begin growing again. Resistance stunts our growth and keeps us stuck in pain, inaction, or both. Before I accepted the situation, I kept coming up against the food allergies like an adversary that would pop up out of nowhere and knock me in the dirt.
Once I accepted the situation, I was able to build it into my life map.
Then I was able to find fun creative ways to go with the flow. Seeing the obstacle for what it is, allows me to move around it with ease. I could then continue moving toward my dreams with a clearer picture of where I was standing and how to get where I want to be!
I am not “settling” for a life without wheat and dairy, I am THRIVING on a life path that has given me the blessings and challenges that have sculpted me into the awesome self I am today!
The biggest gift of this journey is the radical self-acceptance I now offer myself daily. I finally accept myself, just as I am, in all my
Suffering is optional.
What are you currently suffering?
How willing are you to accept it for what it is?
How much energy will that free up in your soul?
How will it change how you see yourself?
If you see it clearly in your life map, what fun, creative options does this open up for you?