The Cause and Cure of Suffering

Pain is unavoidable in life but you create your own suffering with your thoughts and emotions.  You suffer because: 1.) you resist what already exists, 2.) you attempt to control what you cannot control, 3.) you refuse to confront your fears and 4.) you attach your life’s meaning and your personal identity to your ego.  Your ego is a mental construct that is constantly changing.  It is a tool, your personally designed road map of reality.  But if you accept it as the “real you” it will define you as a composite of your possessions, career, titles, power, appearance, athletic abilities, relationships, family, education, social status, beliefs, values and honors.  Your suffering begins when you first realize how quickly all these things change and that they will likely not be there for you in the end.  Your suffering intensifies when you resist the changes you experience as you age and you see your “castle crumbling.”  Faced with the truth that you will easily be replaced and forgotten you can become anxious and depressed; life is now meaningless.  You will either continue to suffer or become motivated to seek another perspective.  Suffering is an excellent spiritual teacher when it leads you to the realization that you are the awareness behind your thoughts; you have thoughts and emotions which you can choose to ignore or entertain.  Awakening occurs when you realize you are awareness or consciousness.  You witness your thoughts rather than attach your meaning and identity to them.  The cure for suffering is to accept each moment as it is no matter what form it takes and release your resistance, control and attachment.  This gives you the freedom to choose to live each moment in peace, stillness and silence, at one with your soul.  Sometimes it means surrendering to the Universal Consciousness when there is no answer for the “Why me?” question.  However, if you miss suffering, you can always create more for yourself by making judgments.  Eckhart Tolle said, “Suffering begins when you mentally label a situation as bad.  That causes an emotional contraction.  When you let it be, without naming it, enormous power is available to you.  The contraction cuts you off from that power, the power of life itself.”  Deepak Chopra said, “The cause of suffering is not knowing who you are.  The cure for suffering is to wake up to your true self.”

Life Coach – Dr. Dean McCormick