Not Suffering But Pain May Serve A Purpose In Life

Buddha in Me We all experience pain and challenge in this life, and pain plants the seed of suffering from which sprouts fear, sadness, guilt, shame, anxiety and frustration. But what suffering can do is also create a field to nurture resilience, strength, awareness and compassion. Pain can thus become the propelling force for transformation […]

Buddha in Me

We all experience pain and challenge in this life, and pain plants the seed of suffering from which sprouts fear, sadness, guilt, shame, anxiety and frustration. But what suffering can do is also create a field to nurture resilience, strength, awareness and compassion. Pain can thus become the propelling force for transformation of self.
Pain may originate from emotional trauma, physical trauma, financial adversities or a relationship drama, but suffering comes from the damage we do to ourselves in our minds, that often exceeds the cause of pain. We all have been the victim of our own mind and end up feeling miserable.
Suffering is an experience of the mind. Some pains we suffer but the aggravated pain we suffer because of our thoughts, and our over thinking. Like someone may enjoy money and having a mortgage; another may feel a chain around their neck. One might feel suffering and loss after a break up for some time; another person may let it go and move on easily. Start seeing suffering for what it is; your mind telling you stories.
The vicious cycle we create by begrudging ourselves and others in asking, ‘Why me? Poor Me! Why do bad things only happen to me? What did I do to deserve this? If this has become a natural response to challenges and pains caused by life’s trials, it is a definitive sign of a persistent victim mentality.
We all at some point in time will go through illness, separation, money crunches and heartbreaks of either self or loved ones, and the most devastating, losing a loved one to death. But not all hardships are tragedies, they could be life crises. We find ourselves in a dark spot, when we are paralysed by these crises, and despite our happy go attitude, we are not able to spot the light at the end of the crisis tunnel.
The suffering caused by physical pain can be cured with medicine but suffering arising out of the emotional distress caused by pain needs to be acknowledged, accepted with an understanding that in order to be liberated from the state of suffering that we can experience pain, without allowing the pain to transform our mental state and character. But this is possible when we tap into the inherent knowledge of the nature of our self and the nature of our mind.
Acceptance can be misunderstood as passivity. It doesn’t mean to give up or give in to the suffering, instead the understanding that suffering is the consequence of my own life state and working of our own karma. This understanding opens the door of opportunity to live life with greater meaning and purpose. Create value and making
Buddha taught his disciples that pain is inevitable, but suffering is optional. You have the power to choose how you respond to pain. Our response or our reaction to pain can cause us to suffer and therefore, we need to choose wisely. Suffering is the human emotional response that results from the interpretation, from unknowing, and from uncertainty and life is uncertain and unpredictable. We cannot control everything, no amount of planning and no precautions can concretely guarantee existence without suffering.
Human beings are transformational beings who keep evolving continuously. When we become aware that acute suffering is caused by our own doing and it is stealing all the happiness and joy from our life, that’s when we need to start learning how to manage our emotions better.
How can we tame our minds so we don’t become slaves of our emotions?
We need to consciously tell our minds to stop. The stories our mind keeps being need to stop; we need to destroy the reels played in our mind that creates a spiral of fear, insecurities, and disappointments. Treat your negative thoughts as balloons arising from fear, frustration. Imagine poking and bursting the balloons with the sharp pin of faith and determination to transform suffering into empowerment.
Suffering becomes optional if we start evaluating our life’s situations as valuable opportunities for us to practise our patience, learn to control impulses, and listen to conscience. Every vindictive state of mind is a chance to train our minds for transformation. Distract your mind. Use meditation and mindfulness tools consistently to distract yourself.
Life is unpredictable and unexpected things are bound to happen. We need to be prepared and keep looking at how to avert them, and how to prevent them from happening again. But living in constant fear and obsessing to obviate all at the same time, is futile. Obsession leads to accumulation of anger, which will make us often lose it and become temperamental, creating a fuss over every minor opposition and then falling into the trap of feelings of remorse, guilt ultimately building onto suffering.
We only appreciate happiness when we have known pain in life. Happiness doesn’t mean absence of pain in life. Happiness is a state of mind that doesn’t remain constant because we equate happiness with material things, getting things done our way and in case we don’t get our desired results our happiness barometer goes down. The pain of not getting what the heart desires for, makes us appreciate happiness and feelings of gratitude are elevated.
The truth of life is that there will always be something missing, something unpleasant happening, but it is only through the realisation that one needs to be grateful for things that we have and take them for granted. The pain and loss in life acts as a catalyst for the transformation of the feeling of entitlement to the feelings of gratitude and striving towards becoming deserving to receive what one desires for. Who wants to suffer? No one deserves to suffer, but most people have a belief that life is pain. Instead of accepting pain as an inevitable part of life; they keep working to avoid hurt and pain as much as possible. As a species, humans have evolved to desire for a painless existence and that’s what has motivated the scientists to work tirelessly in medicine and healthcare, and make a living exploiting the fear of humans to live without pain.

People have options today and can now choose something without pain, like ‘pain-free’ labour for delivering babies, or quick remedies to cure occasional back pain, headaches, body-pains, and even mental pains are a dime a dozen. Beyond medicine, people indulge in all kinds of substances giving them high kicks so that they experience little pain even when it comes to loss. But would a world without pain truly be painless? It’s unlikely, the reality is, it would probably be painful exactly for that reason, absence of pain.
Pain is inevitable, we need to embrace it positively so pain doesn’t transform into suffering. Strives to have a painless life, is striving for perfection; and perfection doesn’t exist, seeking perfection guarantees sadness because nothing will ever be perfect.
Experiencing pain often serves as a reminder of lessons learned, just like the scars on the physical body. Pain will always be painful, and will remind us of the challenges, hardship one has undergone but the same pain and challenges are the causes that help us see from the lens of wisdom.
Pain is a valuable teacher, helps us to learn and grow. It’s important to remember that pain is not the same as suffering. Suffering is optional. Some pains hurt you and they change you for better……if you choose to continue hurting , you keep suffering but when you choose to heal, forgive, you become more aware of who you are, working on your ego self, you choose to work towards ending suffering and that is the purpose of pain, evolution of self. Rumi said, don’t make pain your curse. The pain you feel today will be the strength you feel tomorrow.