Updated: Jun 11
Pain and suffering is often looked at as negative. However, disruptions in our lives can lead us to shifts in our thinking and being. It forces us to question our thoughts, adjust our reality, and move in a different direction. We always have the power of choice towards good, but we don't always have the motivation to make changes. Suffering will actually help us to get there. Let's explore why.
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Suffering is natural for everybody. Nobody goes through life without suffering. When you learn to accept it, view it, study it, a new vision starts to arise. We start to learn that suffering is actually a good thing. A healthy thing. During no other time do we get such deep and powerful feelings than from suffering. These powerful feelings as a result create an imbalance within us, and force us to naturally want to move away from pain.
THE 4 NOBLE TRUTHS IN BUDDHISM
What many people may not know about "Buddha" is that he was raised in a wealthy family. He had riches and luxury and a popular status in the community. He was raised with a certain understanding that life is easy and that became his truth. It was until he went out in the world that he realized he had been raised in a distorted perception of life far from the truth of reality. So he gave up all his possessions and went on a quest for enlightenment. He then came up with the four noble truths and the eightfold path.
1) LIFE IS SUFFERING - DUKKHA
Suffering is an inescapable part of life. The legend said that when Siddhartha Gautama, who later become the Buddha, he left his palace, he saw an old man, a diseased man, and a decaying corpse. He realized that our lives include struggle, anguish, and pain. This is the truth of suffering.
2) THE CAUSE OF SUFFERING IS DESIRE - Tanha
The second noble truth is that this suffering stems from the greed, ignorance, and hatred that arises in our minds. Our craving to avoid the difficulties life throws up. This is the truth of the origin of suffering.
3) THE CURE FOR SUFFERING IS TO REMOVE DESIRE - Nirodha
The third noble truth is that we can end all this if we can stop craving and respond differently. Doing so brings Nirvana or "awakening". A state of complete wisdom and compassion for all beings. This is the truth of the end of suffering.
4) TO REMOVE DESIRE, FOLLOW THE EIGHTFOLD PATH - Magga
The fourth noble truth is the Buddha's recipe for achieving happiness, virtue, and eventually Nirvana. This is the truth of the path to the end of suffering. It is the eightfold path of
1) Developing understanding
2) Positive intentions
3) Skillful speech
6) Right kind of effort
7) Cultivating mindfulness
8) Mastering meditation
The Buddha compares his teaching to a raft that a man uses to cross a raging river. Once you cross the river using the raft, once you understood the truth of life for yourself, there's no point in remaining attached to it.
Buddhists believe that nothing is fixed or permanent and that change is always possible.
The one pervasive truth in life is that "nothing ever stays the same." In society there is a misunderstood ethos that change is bad. We view it as negative. When people suddenly have a different opinion or start eating differently, or talk differently, look different.
We are suppose to change. We are meant to change. Change is natural. The seasons change. Winter, spring, summer, fall. We change. We are born, we grow, and then we die. We change form.
Rumi on suffering said that
"what hurts you, blesses you. Darkness is your candle."
This meaning that when we learn to let darkness in - it becomes our light, illumination, our enlightenment.
So appreciate your suffering and all that it brings. It will bring you insight and wisdom beyond your wildest imagination. Your relationship with your mind, body, and soul will deeply improve once you begin this process, and radically transform your reality to one of happiness and fulfilment.
About the Author
Matt Jones is a writer and entrepreneur with multiple businesses who loves inspiring others to reach their full potential. He is also a musician, educator, and world traveler whom has been to over 40 different countries on all 7 continents.
His personal mission is to create and inspire. He is from Los Angeles, but is now based in greater London.