Why We Suffer


Sometimes when life is too good we wonder if we really deserve it.  If we are used to living a life of struggle this thought might occur to us. You probably believe that you really want to be happy, but your experiences show you that happiness is not possible; your history reveals more experiences of struggle and suffering.

The things we want most; happiness, freedom, ease, all seem to get pushed aside for the more familiar feeling of suffering.  We don’t do this on purpose.  We do this out of habit.

So how do we learn to accept the good in our lives?  How do we find a way to just receive the happiness, freedom and ease that has eluded us all these years?

We start by noticing. Notice when you feel the good stuff. Notice when you feel the other, the struggle and the difficulty.  Notice what is happening in your body.  If you are in a good place chances are you are feeling light and full.  If you are
suffering or in a bad place you might use words like dark or negative, or phrases like, “It feels as if I’m under a dark cloud.”

When we notice these things about ourselves we are gaining awareness.  So why is awareness important?  Because we ultimately want to understand ourselves so we can notice how often we go into the dark place and how seldom we allow the good place in.

Sometimes it feels like things just happen to us, and they do.  But we can begin to understand how we react to things when they happen and begin to become aware of how we automatically, unconsciously play out the same old reaction.

Do we tense up when we feel threatened, angry or in danger?  Do we relax when we feel safe?  These are good things to learn about you.  Once you understand your own reaction to situations then you can begin to explore your patterns.  You might learn that you tense up when you feel unsafe and you freeze.  This is good to know because when you understand your reaction you may want to try something else to see what could happen.  Maybe you want to have a conversation with yourself and ask, “What am I afraid of?  Is there really danger or am I just following a pattern?”  If you observe there is
nothing to be afraid of maybe you can tell yourself the next time, “I am going to (take the action) because there is nothing to be afraid of.”

Many people want to make changes in their lives.  They want to be happy and peaceful.  The first step starts with you observing and understanding you.  Once you become an expert on your patterns and reactions to life you will be able to make the right changes for you. 

How do you know what the right change will be?  You already know.  When the right changes occur, you feel good; your body feels in alignment with the rest of you.  That’s how you know you have made the right decision for you.  Take a moment to understand what good feels like in your body.  Then when you feel it you will know. The right answer and action will send all the right messages to your body.  To know this about yourself you have to study yourself.

But isn’t that something you do already?  Don’t you know more about yourself than anyone?  Why not take the next step for you by taking a stand and telling yourself this, “I want to live a life free from suffering, and I’m willing to learn more about myself in order to do that.”

Send your comments to linda@lindanusbaum.com

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