Friday Inspiration—It's True! Suffering Is Optional

Published: Fri, 12/30/16

"Truth is by nature self-evident. As soon as you remove the cobwebs of ignorance that surround it, it shines clear.


Dear ,

There is something that I absolutely know to be true, but always find amazing—suffering is truly optional.

In every moment, we get to choose how we meet whatever is appearing. We can meet what’s happening with drama, fear, and resistance—or we can take a breath, acknowledge what’s here, and move forward from a peaceful place.
It’s the difference between “OMG, not this!,” and “Oh, it’s this.”

“Not this!” comes from a surge of emotions and a stressful commentary about how things should be different than they are. And “Oh, it’s this,” allows us to access wisdom, clarity, and love.

I received a call the other evening from someone wanting to vent. The conversation was filled with:
  • She shouldn’t have done that!
  • She should have known!
  • I can’t believe she did that…again!
My friend’s anxiety was sky-high, and she was looking forward to another sleepless night.

I did my best to be supportive, but inside I felt sad. So much needless suffering…

And it took barely a moment of reflection (“Oh, it’s this”) to understand that my friend and the other woman were both doing their best.

Maybe the medicine for resistance is compassion. When we find ourselves consumed in “OMG, not this!” maybe we can find a little space to welcome our own reactions in love and understand what might be going on with the other.

Then we discover that suffering is optional.

The end of suffering is the end of separation. We no longer take seriously our judgments and opinions. Instead, we surrender to the reality that is right here, the one we’re living right now. It is as it is no matter what we think about it.

Accepting it fully and seeing things clearly, we take our next step.   

There is an awful lot of strife in the world right now. Maybe we can bring a little more love to our corner of it.

Wishing you peace, love, and the deepest fulfillment—available right here in every moment,