Is Suffering the Point of Life?
I have some hard questions for you today… What has been the hardest part of your day? What has been the hardest part of your week? What has been the hardest part of your month? Of your COVID-19 experience? These hard parts—these are examples of your suffering.
Is that hard for you to admit—that you are suffering?
Before I began practicing self-compassion, I ignored my suffering and I resisted my pain. Do you know what happens to suffering that is ignored and pain that is resisted? It grows bigger. But suffering is not the point of life! And practicing self-compassion has taught that to me.
Let’s relieve some suffering right now.
Think of one of your moments of suffering. Look at it…and look at you enduring them. What can you say to yourself at this moment? You could say something like “I see you,” or “I’m sorry you’re suffering,” or “this is a moment of suffering and it really stinks,” or “this is hard, but it won’t last forever.” You could simply say, “I love you,” or,” it’s going to be ok.”
Alright, now, congratulate yourself, because facing our suffering is hard. It can seem weak to admit our pain. And it is hard to see ourselves suffering. But can you see how facing our suffering is actually making us stronger? The strongest version of ourselves, even.
If you would like more help speaking kindly to yourself, and learning how to find your own friendly inner-voice, please consider taking our 4-week online self-compassion class. Becky and I will teach it live on Zoom, Tuesday evenings 7 pm to 9 pm MST beginning October 13th. All the details can be found HERE.
Hang in there, everyone! Suffering may be a part of life but it is not the only part. As we learn to acknowledge our suffering, it makes room for joy, triumph, curiosity, courage, beauty, strength, and on, and on, and on! And that is the point of life.
May you be well!