“Rewards come from suffering.”
I know you have probably heard this all before; rhetoric, parents are very good at dishing out.
Parents are supposed to speak these words; this is what parents say to their children without understanding the depth of what they are saying.
As an adolescent I did not want to suffer, my parents lectures were left on deaf ears, why would I want suffer?
Suffering to me was a form punishment; all I wanted was to be happy.
Suffering meant I would hurt, why would I subject myself to that?
As I matured, I kept looking for happiness, the degree, the next degree, a house, marriage, children…
I had it all, you might say, why complain? Yet, I was still not satisfied.
During that period I suffered from panic attacks and depression, nothing made me happy despite the fact to the outside it appeared I had it all.
While my outer world was wrapped in a rose colored film, my inner world was in turmoil.
Suffering became a way of life; I resisted the suffering, restlessly looking for happiness.
One day, taking a closer look at the suffering, I watched how I would push it deep within, denying it existed, until it oozed back up with vengeance.
Then there were times I flung the suffering at others, blaming those who have caused my pain, becoming the victim was a power trip, I now did not have to own it.
Neither strategy worked, I was still unhappy…
Until, I decided to reach out and embrace suffering as part of life.
Life cannot exist with out it, happiness cannot exist without it, and growth and love cannot exist without it.
Suffering, no longer an adversary, became my companion, we shook hands and decided to unite.
We now link arms, working through the obstacles and challenges, with an understanding that we are in this together.
Suffering made me aware that avoiding or pushing suffering down; I would succumb to unrelenting dissatisfaction.
Suffering is as much a part of me, as my pleasures and achievements are.
This may sound counterintuitive, though once I stopped resisting suffering; I was free to be happy.
Yes, free to be happy.
Recipe: Sitting With Your Suffering Breathing Meditation
Sitting is a comfortable seat, either in a chair or on the ground, free from distractions.
Close your eyes and take 3 deep breaths.
Inhale: breathe in your suffering
Hold the breath: allow the suffering to co-mingle with your heart, the centre of love and compassion
Exhale: breathe out the resistance to your suffering; allow it to be present with you.
Repeat this breath sequence until the resistance softens and you can sit with the suffering with ease.
Be patient, this may take multiple sessions depending on your suffering.
Notice once you release the resistance of your suffering, how you feel.
You may possibly feel a twinge of happiness.