“The most difficult times for many of us are the ones we give ourselves.” ~ Pema Chödrön
Suffering is an unfortunate part of being alive.
If we try, we can come up with reasons why suffering builds character or helps us fully appreciate the other things in our life that make us happy.
But sometimes, suffering just sucks.
I hope you have been able to avoid it for the most part, and if you have suffered greatly, then I am truly sorry.
But not all the things we suffer through are a result of external causes. Some suffering we hold onto and experience by choice.
Take anger for example. Someone does something to you. Something you don’t like. Something that causes you to get angry.
Maybe you yell at this person. Maybe you throw something. Maybe you give them a knuckle sandwich (let me just clarify here that I am a passive vegetarian and in no way condone violence, but hey, we’re human).
In an ideal world you would just let it go then and there and put your hand on ice. But does it ever end there?
Anger has a way of lingering and enraging us when we should be getting on with our day. We remember the situation. Play it over and over in our heads. Thinking of better and more hurtful comebacks.
What does this do for us beside keep the suffering going and cause us great distress?
We poke at our anger, at our suffering—keeping it alive. When instead we could be setting it down, reminding ourselves that what the person did or said is irrelevant, and moving on.
We hang onto that anger because it often feels easier to suffer than to work on how to let go of the things we can’t change and find peace in our everyday lives.
What suffering do you hang onto that does you no good?
The sooner you can learn to acknowledge it, the sooner you can work on letting it go.
Author & artist: Mike Medaglia
Editors: Khara-Jade Warren; Nicole Cameron