Pain and Suffering: A Brief Introduction

"The truth is that our finest moments are most likely to occur
when we are feeling deeply uncomfortable, unhappy, or
unfulfilled. For it is only in such moments, propelled by our
discomfort, that we are likely to step out of our ruts and
start searching for different ways or truer answers."
~ M. Scott Peck

As I keep saying, You can play and get hurt, or you can NOT play and get hurt. Your choice.

So, getting hurt is inevitable.

Pain comes with the package tour or being alive, as does joy and pleasure. Our bodies, hearts and minds are made to be ping-ponging back and forth between comfortable and uncomfortable, between pain and joy, just like the world we find ourselves in moves continually from winter to summer, spring to fall, hot to cool and back again.

But it is not the joy and happiness that cause such a problem for you, right? It is more the pain and hurt.

So, here's the interesting part. There is an important distinction between pain and suffering. Pain is inevitable, but suffering is optional.

Pain is a sensation of discomfort, physical or emotional. As your body is wired to experience pleasure and joy, likewise is it wired to experience pain. It's all all-inclusive, pris-fixe kind of thing.

Any running from something, is suffering. Resisting is suffering. The wishing the something not to be so, the mad dash toward something else, the discord between what you are experiencing now and what you WISH your experience to be, is suffering.

I am NOT saying that to minimize or eradicate suffering i you must learn to like everything as it is. The desire to shift things in your life is a magnificent power that is your birthright as a human being – and something I give you many tools around in the Relationship With Yourself section [link to "Relationships With Yourself" section]. Accepting, or the opposite of resisting, is NOT complacency or passive acceptance.

The antidote to suffering is to stop running, stop resisting. It is to shake hands with WHAT IS SO. In ceasing to wish life to be different than what it IS, and seeing it for what it IS, suffering can evaporate.

If you are still confused, check out The Nature of the Mind, where I go more into all of this.

So, a quick review: you are in control of your suffering.

And yes, since you are often – either consciously or unconsciously – doing things which cause yourself undue pain, you are, to a certain extent, in control of some pain and hurt as well.

There are techniques to minimize as well and understand pain and hurt, many of which are here in this website. Pain and hurt are great teachers, and contain within them important gems, that propel us on to better and richer lives.

But to live your life on a quest to be eternally pain-free, is well, a life of suffering.

You might not be in control of all the pain you experience, but the length, depth and flavoring of your suffering is in your hands.

So often, you avoid relationships as a way of avoiding pain. But the pain or hurt found within relationship, within intimacy, within love, isn't pain to be avoided, it is pain of growth and transformation.

It is kind of a funny joke, if your stomach is strong enough for the dose of irony. You run from, resist and guard against the inevitable pain and hurt, and by doing so, slather on a super-sized helping of suffering, mostly missing all the joy, pleasure and happiness.

Ha, ha.

Rare, extraordinary relationships offer you a gorgeous way to play, but do not, and cannot offer you a way to NOT get hurt.

Since we've got that whole pain and suffering thing out of the way, why not play?

Why not see what outrageous amounts of sweetness, joy and pleasure are possible for you, on beyond avoiding hurt and pain?

Go to Sexuality As Spirituality
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