Friday, August 17, 2018

Suffering with the insufferable

Image result for positive suffering cartoonWe all need to suffer, some more than others.  Questioning whether suffering is a positive and helpful exercise is important, but only when the sufferer realizes the benefits of those challenges. 

There are only a few among us who have not endured the pain and sorrow of either self-inflicted grief or those thrust upon us by some external means.  Both can be beneficial and helpful as we strive to live our lives with a positive and optimistic outlook. 

Some excruciating events in life force us to chose and reevaluate our thoughts about suffering and ask, “why me?”  When the answer to that question is only rarely voiced as “thank you”, the overall premise of suffering can be viewed as a life-changing test, an exam that is offered without notice and without warning.  It is then and only then that we start to understand how our past has prepared us or ensured our failure.  It is apparent that what we did yesterday can have a profound effect on how we deal with the now or even events not yet lived.

Life is a process of learning and it seems evident to me that some lessons need to be taught to all of us to progress from what we were to who we should be.  None of us are static beings, most of us need to eat and therefore must engage with life in order to sustain our ability to breath and function, even if that level of life is lower than the norm.  

All suffering is not equal, but all suffering provides the means toward greater understanding, but to the majority, suffering is viewed as an awful, debilitating and life-destroying event.  It is true that the miseries, the pain and the anguish of life breeds discontent and negativity, often destroying the lives of those most affected.  But when we look at those most affected there are some who rise above and become transformed, changed in some way that alters their perception of the very act that thrust them down to hell. 

Why do some survive and others falter?  Why is it that some find within them the means to fly when others who have had similar trauma or heartache falter and become enslaved to the event?  In a similar vein, why are some people happy and others are not?  Happiness is state of mind we’re told and it’s just as easy to be happy as sad.  Is it that easy?  And do those same principles apply to those who are suffering? 

I consider myself to be a realist with a slight advantage of thinking I know some of the answers, some of the time.  With that knowledge, I can think beyond an event and focus on the benefits of what I had to endure.  Trust me, it is much harder than it looks, and even with my vaulted since of self the depression, the anxiety and the formulation of positive thoughts are monumentally difficult but, in the end,, whatever that is supposed to mean, we can be stronger, abler and better for enduring what we suffered through.

 The deciding factor in all this always comes down to personal choice.  The sufferer needs to decide not to be the victim of those events, regardless if their self-imposed, like drugs, use, alcohol, depression, pornography etc.…or those events caused by no fault of their own, rape, injury, violence, accident or the variety of life's unexpected diversity, that person has to decide for themselves how they are going to react, respond or counter those events that will come to us all.

None of us are immune from suffering, we all share in that process.  We have a society now that thrives on victimhood and they wear it like a badge of honor but instead of honoring the process they delve into the darkness and force others to accept their plight and their twisted perception of themselves, never realizing the beauty of learning from that which was given or endured.   
The history of our world is filled with examples of everyday men and women suffering and enduring the tragedy-filled life that we have.  Some believe like I do that those trials are given for our good and the balance of what we endure should be compared to what we have in store. 

Call it faith, call it life but we all have a choice.  I understand the depths of mental illness and how trauma affects our mentality and our ability to chose but cognitively and for most of humanity we can choose to live and thrive during and after the endurance of survival.  It is within us to rise above, it is part of our nature to seek for the brightness of opportunity, to move toward the light of freedom of thought and action rather than the blackness of servitude and slavery, both physically or mentally, we can choose.

I understand the depth of trauma, depression, addiction and dependency and I understand the beauty of fighting to overcome, choosing to see the beauty of life rather than the horrific underbelly that often blinds us through its blackness and the single-minded perception that obscures all good, all hope and all life. 

According to me, our purpose in life is to rise above the Natural Man, leaving the trappings of greed, lust and lies to pursue a life filled with promise, love and truth.  We can all do it, but the changes have to start with you…