top of page

Pain is Inevitable, Suffering is Optional

Back in my endurance days, I knew that at some point, the pain will show up and will get increasingly worse as the event goes on. It was inevitable - it was just when and how much I was willing to endure. Often I would try and trick my mind and break the event into chunks so it would be manageable. Sometimes it worked, but most of the time it didn't. I was just trying to resist feeling the pain or a distraction, which resulted in an increased sense of suffering. Eventually, I learned to endure the pain or 'embrace the suck'. I was able to identify the feeling of pain and come to the understanding that I actually paid money for the experience. The lesson I had to continue to learn over and over was the more you try and push it away, the worse it gets.

Pain is the not-so-pleasant feelng or event within the body. Suffering is how that event's pain is interpreted that involves thoughts, beliefs, worldviews, and judgments. Suffering reflects that experience of pain, however, when the pain goes away the suffering can persist

Pain x resistance = suffering. When we try and block out or resist our pain we are trying to push away things that we can't control. Looking at mental health, often we try and resist by avoiding, exploring negative coping mechanisms, blaming others, or deflecting. The more you try and fight against it, the worse it gets. This becomes cyclical and issues can spiral before they are addressed. There are parts of you that are being suppressed and suffering as a result of the continued resistance.

Motivation is really high when pain is hard to tolerate. When we are in pain, we instinctively try and find ways to relieve that pain whether it is going to the doctor, resting, or seeking professional consultation.

Suffering is created through habits. The habits of avoiding, compulsiveness, blame, guilt, and addiction are just a few of them. These habits numb or create a distraction from the pain for a while, however, the end result is suffering.

The first step in relieving the suffering is becoming more mindful of your emotions and reconditioning to break the habits that lead to suffering.

3 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All
bottom of page