The other day I was in a conversation about suffering and was asked, “Wouldn’t it be nice if there were no suffering?” Well, of course it would be great, but suffering is a part of life. You can’t escape it. To think you can escape suffering is foolish.
Suffering is so different in so many ways. A person asked to speak in front of a large crowd could be suffering. They are suffering due to fear and possibly stage fright. But that is very different than suffering due to domestic violence; a child across the world could be suffering hunger; a person could be mourning the death of a loved one; this is all suffering. Suffering can be different things to different people.
How can we mere human beings want to escape suffering when saints, heroes and martyrs suffered? This suffering is exactly what made them saints, heroes and martyrs. They endured the tribulations; they stood up for what they believed and did so without protest. Conviction rooted deep inside of them as they carried on and they prevailed. Their hardships made them take action and their modesty brought them to a category of greatness. Saints, heroes and martyrs such as Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, Mother Theresa, Buddha, Jesus and Martin Luther King to name some.
So I say to you, don’t be discouraged when hardships fall upon you. Consider these times as opportunities to grow, to find your inner strength and become stronger spiritually. These are the times which define who you really are. Take a minute, take a breath, reassure yourself that you will overcome your challenges and that soon this period will come to pass. You can handle what life holds in store for you. You just need to be still and you will know in your heart that you will prevail. I wish you inner peace in the face of chaos.
I leave you with one of my favorite sayings:
Suffer what there is to suffer, enjoy what there is to enjoy. Regard both suffering and joy as facts of life, and continue.
Love and Light,