FINDING MEANING IN OUR SUFFERING
Pic.: Chetna Shetty
“To live is to suffer,
to survive is to find some meaning in the suffering.”
I was talking to someone on phone just a while ago. I heard him say, “Our character is shaped through the tests we pass through in life.”
The context he was talking to me had nothing to do with the particular tests I was silently going through as I was talking to him. But, then, what he said – and which I knew was so true – seemed as if he was trying to help me deal with my present pain and suffering…
Well, I, unwittingly said ‘pain and suffering’. Yes, like so many people around me, I, too, mixed them up, in my ignorance.
Pain and suffering are different. I have written on it many times before… Pain is inevitable in life… I do not have choice on it. But, to suffer or not to suffer because of pain – yes, I do have a choice on it.
When I resist pain, I suffer. When I ‘consciously’ accept my pain, I am librated of my suffering. Therefore, the key to freedom from suffering is to deal with my pain – physical, emotional or even spiritual – ‘consciously. I have seen it working in my daily life… in small, routine matters… Yes, even a small, routine pain can cause in my heart a massive suffering if I resist it, approach it without being conscious… On the other hand, even a massive pain cannot succeed in ruffling the peace in my soul, if I accept it with my eyes open… willingly and gladly… without blame and self-pity.
Life means struggle… problems, opposition, conflicts, losses of many form. Life means pain… Pain does bring suffering along… till we stop resisting it. So, it is only when we accept our pain consciously, we get the strength to rise above our suffering. That’s how our fine character is shaped… Just the way fine gold is created…Just the way fine steel is created.
Pain is not only inevitable, it is, also, a must for becoming wise and strong human beings in this world. Kahlil Gibran had said:
“Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls;
the most massive characters are seared with scars.”
So, my heart tells me – “Hey, why not smile, today, on my own scars?”