The Five Biggest Lessons I’ve Learned About Suffering

Woman with umbrella

We are healed of a suffering only by experiencing it in full.” ~ Marcel Proust

In the last thirty years I’ve recalled the days and nights of suffering; the questionable thoughts and actions that helped shape the person I am today.

While awareness can achieved when one is mindful, it was through overcoming adversity that I was able to understand the core of my suffering. Instead of looking to continuously blame others for my pain, I dismissed this illusion of thought and was led to a pathway to freedom.

Here are the most important lessons I’ve learned about this human emotion. Some thoughts may not resonate with you, and thus appears the beauty of contrast. But I do hope this teeny list can help you understand more of how we can all overcome suffering, regardless of circumstance.

It’s temporary. During one of my last emotional breakdowns I became still and asked my Soul, “Why do I suffer? Will it always be like this?” As time passed, I came to realize that hardship and pain are unavoidable but temporary.

Twitter BirdWith true acceptance, all forms of suffering can end – here and now.

It’s optional.  Haruki Murakami said, “Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.” When we live by our own free will and we have the ability to choose how we experience our emotions, it enables empathy for oneself.

It can return. When we choose to ignore the overwhelming emotions and attempt to make an escape from suffering, we are doomed to experience it once again. The pain can dissolve, but suffering can resurface if one cannot accept its presence.

It belongs in the past. When we suffer in the present moment we are affected by hurts of our past. If we can flow effortlessly through each experience, there is no room to let in suffering.

It aids with self-growth. Miraculously in my deepest sorrow I achieved the most clarity, for I knew there was no one else who could aid in my healing but my Self.

Of course, even to this day I still suffer when I choose not to be present with myself and others, but there certainly isn’t the need to have a lifelong bout with attaining happiness.

What’s the most important lesson you learned from your suffering?


photo credit: Loca Luna / Anna Gay via photopin cc



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About Michelle Cruz Rosado

Michelle Cruz Rosado is a professional speaker and bestselling co-author of "Pursuing Your Destiny: How to Overcome Adversity and Achieve Your Dreams." Follow Michelle for inspiring messages and quotes.