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Suffering in Three Perspectives

Suffering can be seen in three primary perspectives.They are three perspectives that offer different ways of thinking about suffering in our lives. I invite you to find your own opinion on where you stand.

Number One:

Suffering is something nobody wants, and has nothing good to offer our lives. When we suffer we experience an instinctual feeling of aversion, un-wanting, and intolerability to our situation. This feeling is innately something we want to avoid and therefore should do everything in our power to avoid it. What can ease our suffering is to learn to develop ourselves to let go of our selfish ego, attachment, and aversion to overcome the stuck ways we can be in our lives using mindfulness and meditation, or prayer, or whatever works. Instead we may cultivate love and compassion and wisdom to its fullest degree, thereby creating the least amount of suffering in ourselves and others and being open to all the happiness and fulfillment that is possible.

Number Two:

Suffering is not good, but inevitable, so work with it. Suffering is unfortunate when it happens, but if it does we can use it to grow and be stronger. Suffering can and will happen in life, so it is no use in trying to avoid it or pretend its not going to happen. When it does happen all you can do is learn to be with it in a way that is graceful, accepting what you can't change and doing what you can. When we suffer in life we can take the moment as an opportunity to see what life can teach us, how we learn to adapt to our new experience, and change for the better.

Number Three:

Suffering is essential to living a fulfilled life. Although nobody wants to suffer we all learn some of the most essential parts of being human from failure, obstacles, and strife. Including, most of all, compassion. It is through knowing what suffering is that we are able to empathize with others who suffer as well and therefore feel compassion. Without our suffering, compassion would not be possible. Not only this, but it is through our suffering that we achieve a greater level of understanding of our love, since it is despite all that we suffer that our love still endures and therefore transcends our suffering. This transcending is the primary gift of suffering. We do not seek suffering out for ourselves or cause it in others of course, since that would be wrong and a selfish intention. Only life itself, or if you prefer God, can bring the deepest lessons suffering has to give. Despite having suffering as an essential aspect of life and growth, we also simultaneously cultivate ourselves further in love, compassion and wisdom, doing no harm to ourselves or others, and bringing the greatest benefit to ourselves and others through practice, knowing that life will inevitably bring us obstacles for the purpose of our further growth and enlightenment.

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