Pain And Suffering

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IMG_1087“We suffer because we marry our instinctive aversion to pain to the deep-seated belief that life should be free from pain. In resisting our pain by holding this belief, we strengthen just what we’re trying to avoid. When we make pain the enemy, we solidify it. This resistance is where our suffering begins.”

 Ezra Bayda, “When It Happens to Us”

It is difficult to get rid of the sting of adversity we often find ourselves surrounded by. Whether it’s a health issue, a relationship problem, or some other circumstance, we deem it unfair and find ourselves going to war with ourselves to keep it at bay. But none of us exits this world without experiencing pain and suffering.

All we want is to feel good. We want to be happy, knowing our own minds, surrounded by family and friends who understand and support us. And that’s the way it is much of the time.  But then pain comes calling in the form of loss and fear. Sometimes it crushes us. We feel desperation. We get depressed or anxious. We scream and cry trying to make the hurt go away.

But pain is what it is. It’s like the weather. It’s an integral part of our lives. Screaming and crying won’t make it go away. Even when the sun is shining and roses are in full bloom it’s nearby. If you aren’t feeling it now, you will before too long. The thing is that as quickly as it arrives, the weather changes and you find yourself back in the sunshine, unless you choose to cling to the stormy forecast.

While our house was torn apart by the renovations we chose to do over the winter, I spent my time suffering.  I just wanted my house back, with nobody else in it.  I ranted about the four weeks the contractor had promised us that turned into eight. I was living in a hotel without a decent kitchen to prepare healthy meals in. I was gaining weight and having one big old pity party. I was forever readying myself for the next problem that would add to my stress.  I was miserable, as well as miserable to be with.

When I decided to sit with my suffering and just let it be, I realized that I had been allowing myself to be a victim. I asked myself, “Who is it that had set up these circumstances?”  It was of course me.  I’m the one who wanted wood floors in the kitchen rather than the stone tile that made my back hurt.  I wanted the laundry room moved upstairs so that I wouldn’t have to lug dirty clothes down into the basement every day.

As I simmered in my pain, I remembered that I had choices. I could be unhappy and negative about my life or I could allow the sun to shine and pay the price of feeling homeless for a couple of weeks while my house got a lot easier to live in.  I chose to look at the positive side of my circumstances. Sure, I was annoyed when things went wrong but then recalled what I’d have in the end.  I try to remember this when other storms blow in, be it something I choose or not.  Stormy weather comes and goes  just like the sun.  That’s just the way life is.


  1. Joan, this is my first time visit. I’m here because I love your doggy pic and your profile sounds like my best friend Tisha…. who is very cool!
    I also wanted to thank you for this post and add my perspective.
    When we accept that life is a series of highs and lows, then we are able to move through the lows and feel empowered. Suffering comes when we don’t accept the reality of what is and stay in that stuck mindset.
    Thank your for sharing here … and finding your way through this low of life.

    • Thanks for stopping by, Val. Our perspectives click and I appreciate your words. I just stopped by your blog and it’s looking wonderful. I’ll be following your very inspiring posts.

  2. “I remembered that I had choices.”

    Ah yes. Whatever you are not changing, you are choosing. Ya gotta love it!