Every being on this planet will have to suffer in one way or another throughout their lives. In a perfect world, there would be no conflict, drama, or hardship and yet we are confined to live within reality. A harsh truth is those good people also suffer throughout their lives. Why exactly do good people suffer?
Life does not discriminate on who is suffering. Suffering is a state of mind, the more you understand why it is exactly you are suffering the easier it will be to deal with. To grow as a human you must endure suffering and learn from hardship.
Suffering is Resistance
To put it quite simply, suffering is resistance with the present moment.
Where ever you may be in life, it is always important to remember this fact. It can seem like an enormous task to actually see this while dealing with suffering.
The reason why it can be so difficult at times will depend on what the circumstances are. Life is a process of letting go. Unfortunately, your life will come to an end. Along the way, you will lose family members, loved ones, friends, and even your health. To suffer is to live.
Not all sufferings are equal. One could say that a missed bus ride is suffering in the moment but it is certainly not equal to the loss of a loved one.
In life, you don’t have any control over this process. The random nature of reality is the only thing that will determine when things come to an end. The mind will come into resistance with these events as they unfold, this is completely normal.
I’ve dealt with such deep loss before in my life that it made me question almost everything that I thought I knew. I didn’t know which way was up anymore. I wanted things to be different and yet I knew I had no control over these situations.
Life knows how to rip you apart and it will do so at a whim. It didn’t matter that I have lived a life where I didn’t harm anyone purposefully or hurt any living creatures. I still had to face the same suffering that everyone else does in their lives.
Without these tragic hardships we all face, there wouldn’t be any room for mental progression. The act of surrendering to the universe, to the chaotic nature of reality, is what truly sets us free in the end.
Coming to terms with your illusion of control will remove suffering almost completely. Suffering is a disconnection from yourself, an attachment to a certain point in time that isn’t reality anymore.
Is Suffering Necessary?
While it is possible to deal with suffering, I would say that a life without any suffering wouldn’t be plausible.
There are stories of certain individuals who have overcome their suffering completely by instantaneous enlightenment but there is no clear evidence that this is true.
What would a life without suffering even look like?
Would there even be joy and happiness?
We live on a spectrum. On the opposite end of suffering is peace and most people reside in the middle most of the time. Without suffering, there would never be peace and vice versa.
This concept is critical to keep in mind when dealing with hardships. Life can seem cruel and unfair and yet there is still beauty to found within our darkest moments.
Suffering may last longer in some people and may transform itself into a deep depression. If you are having any difficulties, please seek out professional help from a therapist/counselor.
It isn’t possible to live while avoiding suffering. Every human will have to face reality even if you try to prolong this process. Life catches up fairly quickly.
You see this a lot, people bottle everything up until they can’t deal with it anymore and then suddenly have an explosion of emotion and then repeat this entire process.
If instead of bottling up your suffering and exploding, learning how to deal with the suffering will help you get over all of your hardships much quicker.
Any hardship I faced in my life was a lesson. No matter how difficult it was I had to learn to stand up again and again. There was even a recent time when I had almost given up all hope on everything and I just had to remind myself, this will get better.
It did get better, but I think only through my previous experience with knowing how to deal with suffering made it so much more tolerable.
There are numerous ways to deal with suffering that you encounter on a daily basis.
How to Deal With Suffering
As mentioned earlier, suffering is resistance to the present moment.
When you are suffering, you are at a disagreement with reality.
While this all boils down to a simple sentence, dealing with the pain in the moment can seem almost impossible.
Your initial reaction will be to hide, to run, to get away from these bad feelings. I would suggest doing the opposite and run into them.
It’s only the fear that is controlling us. It’s the fear that grips us, that drives our situations out of our hands. Even when facing devastating hardships, the best thing to do is to be brave and to meet these moments head-on.
If you run, you may find temporary relief. The problem is these issues don’t magically resolve. Over time these thoughts you try to drive into a corner of your mind will return to haunt you if left undealt with.
It’s perfectly normal to grieve during a tragic loss. There is denying that these moments may be some of our most painful moments. It’s how you deal with them internally that makes the difference.
Two Sides of a Story
I’ll paint you two different pictures.
One man loses his wife. This man loved his wife so much, they were happily married for many years. They were a perfect match.
When tragedy struck and he lost his wife, he grieved and he grieved. He didn’t run away from himself even during this hardship. He let himself feel as bad as he could so that he could finally resolve the pain that was burning him from the inside out.
Eventually, this man woke up one day and realized that there was nothing he could do about this situation. He realized his past wife would not want to see him like this so he decided to make sure that he was living his life to the fullest. While he did grieve over his wife, he learned from the process.
Now, another man loses his wife as well. He felt the exact same way towards her, lovers for life.
He attempted to keep himself busy through work and hobbies without ever looking inward and dealing with his suffering. Eventually, the pain becomes too unbearable and the man could no longer hide behind his attempts at covering up the situation. This process took a decade to resolve.
Do you see the difference in how dealing with your suffering can make or break you?
It’s your choice.
Why Good People Suffer
If instead, you shift your perspective from suffering being “bad” to a form of growth, it will ease the mind immensely.
You must suffer to grow. Even if you are a good person, a saint, a pope, we all end up in the same place. Every single human must undergo this process in order to become aware of their intense spiritual nature.
Without intense suffering in my life, I would have never even thought about digging deep within my soul and looking for some comfort outside of the material world.
It’s so hard to see it in the moment, it’s so hard to understand that these hardships are what grows us. Only after these immense hardships do we fully come to realize why they happen and how we can benefit from them.
Every single ounce of suffering that humans face is an invitation to look deep within the soul and ask what is truly going on beneath the surface. Without these events, there would be no spiritual growth to be had. Our capacity to deal with reality would be rather limited if it were not for suffering.
Understanding that this suffering doesnt discriminate will keep you from asking questions like:
- Why does this only happen to me?
- The entire world is against me
- I’m too good for this to happen to me
- Why don’t bad people suffer as I do?
- It’s not worth being a good person
Questions such as these do not grow us, they are only distractions from our current suffering. If anything it just makes more suffering about our suffering! Quite funny to think about how it comes down to that.
Next time you are deeply suffering, take a moment to remind yourself that you aren’t alone in the world. Plenty of people are suffering and have suffered just as you are in the moment. These are moments for you to grow from, they weren’t brought to you to completely tear you down.
In these dark moments, it is not unheard of to have life-changing experiences. Eckhart Tolle suffered from extreme depression until one day his mind had enough and he had a spiritual awakening.
If it were not for his intense suffering, he wouldn’t have helped so many people along his journey.
Funny how that all worked out?
Life Without Suffering?
The only distinction between people is HOW much they suffer. The more you learn how to deal with your suffering, the less it actually seems like “suffering”.
It is possible to learn how to deal with your sufferings in such a way that “bad” moments are just that, moments. Not days, years, months, just another blow of the wind.
The most enlightened beings are the ones who have learned how to not become attached to their current reality, they have even already accepted their fate. There is nothing that scares them as they have faced every fear within the mind possible.
When there is no fear left for the mind, it is totally without objection. Reality is just as it is. The mind is the only thing that confuses us, the mind’s interpretation of your reality is what causes the suffering.
Learn how to deal with your suffering. Make it a priority for yourself to stop running away and to deal with whatever may come up. Meditation is a great way to begin dealing with internal conflict.
To learn more about how to start meditating, you can check out this free course by Mindful.
While you may never be entirely FREE from suffering, learning how to manage the suffering will be so refreshing.
I am so thankful that I have suffered in my life. Without my sufferings, I wouldn’t be who I am today. Through all the tragic loss, heartbreak, material loss, I became a better person. These things shape and mold you.
Rise like a Phoenix and come back strong the next time you are dealing with hardship.
Your mind is capable of dealing with more than you think.
Everyone will suffer during their lives. The key difference is how you deal with your suffering.
The better you come into understandings of your sufferings and why they happen, the easier of a time you will have next time you face hardship. No one is immune from the sufferings of life, we are all on the same path after all.
The key to suffering is to understand that suffering is just an objection to reality. If you have no resistance to the present moment, all suffering will cease to exist. In practice, this will be much more difficult to actually apply.
I do urge you to keep practicing on dealing with your suffering. Over time you will grow and learn from them, they are your biggest gifts in life.
If you or a loved one are facing extreme hardship and require more help, please do not hesitate to contact a professional who can guide you through your troubling times.