“The struggle of life is one of our greatest blessings. It makes us patient, sensitive, and Godlike. It teaches us that although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it.” ~ Helen Keller …
So much of our experience in life depends upon our attitudes and our perceptions of it. We have all experienced suffering in life; and unfortunately, we will continue to do so, for the world is full of it. Each day we endure stress, anxiety, grief, tragedy, hurt, broken relationships, and a multitude of other causes of suffering. Yet here we are; we have come through the suffering to become who we are today, and we will continue to come through the suffering that awaits us tomorrow, in a week, and even in a year. <!–more–>
The suffering that we bear allows us to grow and to flourish–to become stronger, kinder, more resilient, more compassionate, and much wiser. And although most of us do not go through grand tragedies that cause us to suffer immensely and intensely, we often deal with quite painful things such depression, bullying, and addiction. And by pushing forth and overcoming the small struggles of suffering in our lives, we prepare ourselves for the much bigger ones that may befall us someday.
There are many ways to overcome suffering–prayer, faith, meditation, talking with others, reading self-help books, staying positive, asking others for help. Yet the most important thing we can do is to maintain a healthy perspective so that no matter what suffering we are faced with, it will not bring us down. After all, life works in cycles; and once we can acknowledge that, we can recognize that even in the darkest night, the sun will rise in the morning.
The suffering we face in life does not define us. But how we react to that suffering will–to a large degree-define who we are as human beings. And although challenging times will appear and affect us, we can overcome them, just as billions of humans have done throughout history. The mere fact that the world is full of prevailing over suffering is cause for celebration and admiration.
When faced with difficulties or suffering, remind yourself that “this, too, shall pass.”
Questions to consider:
What do you consider to be suffering, and what do you consider to be simply inconveniences?
Why do so many people seem to feel most comfortable when they are suffering? What need is the suffering filling?
Why is it important to keep in mind that suffering shall pass, and that many people have suffered through–and overcome–much worse than we are dealing with?
For further thought:
“Strength is a capacity for endurance. One of the dividends of suffering is the universal discovery the we possess a strength within us we never knew we had. Navigating through a difficult episode not only shows us that inner strength is there but convinces us it will always be there to serve us in the future. Overcoming gives us an assurance of personal confidence and value that far exceeds what we thought we possessed before our struggles began.” ~ Dennis Wholey