The Pain of Suffering

Suffering requires a responsive willingness. What an eloquent way to say, suffering is choice. Most lump pain and suffering together, as equals or even tethered twins.  They are vastly different.  The pain is a present moment experience, just step on a piece of Lego with bare feet.  The nerves in your foot shoot the message to your brain in less than a split second and you’ve recoiled with audible exclamation and maybe even some sort of dancing, jumping and shaking. That is a pain response! Suffering comes from retelling the story of the vicious piece of Lego that jumped out at you, or the blaming the child for not cleaning up after his/herself, or blaming the dog for getting in your way which diverted you into the abyss of Lego or even thinking of how the situation could have been avoided. Suffering is past or future mind calisthenics.

Now, you might be thinking of a more serious injury or trauma such as injury from a car accident or even a physical attack of some sort.  Still, the explanation is the same.  Pain comes in the present moment. The body responding to stimulus, movement, and even healing.  The pain could be a string of moments strung together creating a longer experience, and it still is happening in the present. Ok, what about emotional pain? A breakup, a heart break, a betrayal?  The pain in these are also just in the present moment of the situation.  The suffering comes after, and may even linger for years in the rehashing it!! Suffering happens because we are unwilling to take 100% responsibility for our thoughts, emotions, feelings and actions.  My dad used to say, “hangovers and suicide are self-inflicted wounds.”  I would say that suffering is the canopy of all our self-inflicted wounds.  It is easier to blame the dog, the kid, the neighbor, the spouse, the co-work, the boss, or the god…than it is to own responsibility for our thoughts, feelings and actions.

This is a very sticky topic. Feel your resistance to it…what is showing up in your thoughts?  Pain is a helpful and necessary signal of the body that a limit has been reached, a boundary has been violated, an emotion is being experienced or rest needs to occur. Suffering is the hamster wheel that we place ourselves on and we spin constantly.  Personally, I have a fantastic memory and an overactive brain.  I have a great rut of suffering, like the carnival pony tied to the carousel walking the same circle. My thoughts keep me stuck. In this rut of suffering are the thought flavors, expectations, judgments, and self-imposed inadequacies to name a few. They keep my mind busy with thoughts of the past and projections into the future. My practice is to see my pattern, bring myself present and be kind to myself. Hopefully, I am reducing my time on the hamster wheel.

Suffering is a self-defeating human condition.  Many of the Ascended Masters, Avatars, Gurus, Bodhisattva, even Christ and Buddha are said to have incarnated to relieve the suffering of the world… not the pain. Pain happens in life; the suffering is optional. Suffering is self-inflicted.  Remember no one can make you feel, think or do anything! This idea is a lot to take in and digest. Notice what is showing up for you in this.  Let’s keep it short, for today.  I will come back to pain and suffering in future blogs.  I would encourage you to own your stuff, 100%! Your life…thoughts, emotions, feelings, reactions, responses, actions…is your responsibility. LEGO of the suffering, accept the pain in the present, and learn from it. Ann Voskamp said. “Grace is the weapon that disarms the dark.”  Suffering is a dark place. Bring some light in with acceptance, understanding and mindfulness. Until next time, I wish you peace and relief of suffering.

Peace and Blessings,

Blue Jean Oracle