We all experience emotional pain from time to time. Did you ever stop and wonder where the pain comes from? It goes like this. Something happens out there in the world. Maybe a person I love acts in a way that is hurtful to me. I feel pain.
Now, if I hang onto that pain, I suffer. The Buddhists teach pain is a part of life and suffering is optional – or, words to that effect.
Back to pain. Emotional pain is born when I don’t want to accept the reality of my life. OK, someone hurt me. If I can accept the action of the other as a part of my reality, the pain doesn’t grow. I feel it. It’s fleeting and tends to dissipate quickly. When pain hangs around for awhile, it is most likely because I’m attempting to pretend that the reality of my life is something else. Or, I wish it could be another way. Or, I’m in total denial about what happened in the first place. Sort of attempting to fool myself it isn’t so bad after all.
When we can turn around and look life in the eye and accept what is, then pain is diminished or simply evaporates.
Now to suffering. Suffering is simply hanging onto pain. It’s a choice. Again, here I’m talking about emotional pain. We keep reliving the original perceived wrong – over and over. We get stuck in that place of why me? Or, how could that person have done that? Rather than simply accepting life as it is – whatever happened, happened – and, realizing suffering is a choice.
Learning to let go is a very useful practice. See it, feel it, accept the reality of it all and let it go. Tomorrow you may be the one causing another being pain. We are all in this little dance called life together. And, it ain’t always goodness, light and holding hands as we dance into the sunset.
The advanced course teaches that we also forgive the other. Whoa! I read someplace forgiveness is for me – it sets me free. How cool is that?