Escaping Suffering

escaping sufferingThere is a movement in the world to love everything. Love the hard times, love the challenging moments, love the brutal tests of patience and endurance. Just love it all and you can avoid suffering!

If you can find the joy in every moment, the love in everyone, this movement asserts, you can escape suffering.

The assumption behind this philosophy is that suffering is bad. Suffering is to be avoided, denied, and pushed away.

You can’t deny the appeal of such a philosophy. After all who wants to be a “Debbie Downer”? Nobody!

But where does it say that suffering is bad?

Granted, suffering is not fun. But is there no value in suffering? What is your suffering trying to tell you?

I have found the following wisdom to be extremely effective in escaping suffering. It does not deny it or try to paint a happy face on suffering. This wisdom recognizes that suffering exists and that it must be faced, or else it will dominate you:

Your first objective, then, is to face your suffering directly, and by this I mean you must face suffering without judgment. If you are present with suffering, it cannot affect you. But if you are reacting to suffering or trying to change it, it can overtake you at any time. Those who fight suffering will become enslaved, for they are responding to it. It is capturing them because it is a habit and an addiction. It is something that claims people in spite of their good intentions. – Wisdom from the Greater Community, “Escaping Suffering”

So, no one seeks out suffering. And denying it, or calling it something else, or trying to find the love in everything in order to avoid problems in life is not the solution. Suffering must be faced despite our good efforts to be happy and to make the world a brighter place.

This wisdom goes even further and suggests that suffering is a key to finding meaning in our lives. Suffering will exist for as long as we are not engaged in our meaningful work.

It is the goal of life to find real work in the world. It is what is meaningful that is lacking, and that is why people suffer. When meaning becomes your foundation—true meaning—then that will be the source of your happiness, and you will be able to take it with you wherever you go, regardless of circumstances. – “Escaping Suffering,” Wisdom from the Greater Community, Volume I

Lack of meaning in life will produce suffering. A life of meaning greatly reduces it. Escaping suffering is possible.

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