I think we all have been there. Me for sure. More than once. Repeatedly time. The wallowing in pain and suffer. Feeling like you are about to suffocate from the despair you exhibit.
The pain of unmounted levels and the feeling that nothing is interesting anymore.
It seems like many of us, if not all, have been there or are there. Again, me included. The idea of living without pain and suffering has been impossible. Almost offensive to me, when presented.
How on earth would anyone be anything else than pain and suffering. Life is not fair, and the sheer thought of that statement, that life is not fair, is painful in itself.
It would aggravate me and offend me. As if all my collective suffering would be greater than anyone else suffering.
It seemed as well as it was this what life was about. Endless pain and no happiness in sight.
Why would everyone work against me and my happiness? If people could just act and be so I could feel happy.
It was in fact everyone else faults the whole debacle of pain and suffering.
Really mean people!
After my most recent meeting with hello darkness my old friend though, I had the good fortune to be around a friend who took me into a new train of thoughts, and on that have I built something new.
Life Is Suffering; It Does Not Mean We Should Suffer
What is then the difference between these two statements?
Looking at it from a language standpoint we have a thing: Suffering and we have an action: To suffer.
One is an observation we can say and one is the action we are doing.
I can observe that life around me is suffering. It is. I will not take that away from anyone.
My divorce was inherently painful. Living as a single mom without proper salary and the stress it put on me was also huge suffering. Me ending up in the hospital at the mental ward as I totally burned out from the suffering.
Life is suffering. It is. It is painful to live and most of the things that we endeavor are painful. It is not fair and a lot of times are we treated unfairly. We do things we do not want and are pushed to people we do not maybe like because we are in a position that we cannot do anything else.
These are all sufferings. They are hard and painful things that happen.
I can also observe how I act.
There are big events happening in life from which we cannot escape. I was getting a divorce was; I was going to live on air and bread from now on.
I acted it.
I went into it with all the pain that one can imagine. Before I had my mental breakdown, after moving back to Prague and Europe, I lived in stress and agony and pain. I wallowed in my pittieness and whenever something positive came my way, I immediately dismissed it.
It would not make any difference anyhow, as my suffering was bigger than anyone else. Mine made sense and I had no other option than to live like this. In this. Unless maybe all people around me started to act in the way so I could stop feeling pain or that all bad things happening would stop happening.
Then it all would be OK.
Here is where I truly think I was wrong. And so many like me. We live the suffer instead of being trajected by it.
There is a difference between a thing and an action. We can observe and then we can choose.
Then What? A Life With Suffering; Without Pain
Pain is a basic instrument for our body signaling that something is wrong. The suffering is there. You feel pain. Now what we have to do is to remove it.
That is the purpose of suffering. To overcome it and to act on it. If we do not act on it, we stay in the state of suffering and we begin to suffer.
We begin to see the world as a black, dark and lonely place. Very often blaming others for their good fortune and how we cannot have the same. As we are suffering.
Believe me, I have done this. Over and over and then again over.
In the last years, after my collapse, I decided to live a life not in suffer. It has really not been easy and I have slipped up many times and wondered if this is really the path to walk.
To see the suffering, acknowledge it, and move on. This is what I am doing. Even more so the last year.
I decided that I was done feeling like the world was about to crumble. I had just had enough.
So small changes at first. I decided to everyday work on myself; to become a little bit stronger and a little bit better version of myself than I was yesterday.
I reconciled with the idea, that I will have struggles and hardships for the rest of my life.
This is what life consists of so why try to escape it.
The funny part is, that once I reconciled with that idea, and that happiness is not the ultimate goal but removal of pain is; a lot of pain disappeared.
So after deciding that every day I should be a bit better, I had to look at the things that brought me too much pain and clinically look at it and remove it.
I just had to do, whatever I needed to do, to be able to observe something and see it for what it was and make changes.
because that is what suffering is telling you to do. Change. Evolve. Move forward.
It has been everything. Jobs. Friends. Hobbies. Dreams.
it is hard as f**k to start with, as everything is at the beginning. Everything has a learning curve. Am I doing the right thing? What if I make a mistake in what I think is right?
Well, if one action or situation or person or whatever gives you the same feeling over and over or we do the stupidest things that we feel ashamed of. Anxiety about. Stress from.
There sherlock, that is your cue. You are in pain and you need to honor that sign and do something about it.
And the amazing part is, that if we for some reason see that what I thought was the right thing to do in the end was not. We can always do something about that too. I am not saying it will be easy, not at first. Just as nothing is easy at first. Remember when I was going to go for my first run and I failed after about 10 meters.
This is just the same.
I run 10 kilometers today. You can as well if you are willing to change and do the work.