Most of us try to do everything in our power to minimize the pain and suffering in our lives.
We try to avoid the things that bring us hurt or disappointment or anger.
At least I know I do, and I bet you do too!
So, it came as a complete and utter shock to me when I realized that there was something I was doing that not only guaranteed my suffering but also made it much worse than it needed to be!
And I am wondering if you do the same thing!
Most of us have three main thought patterns around suffering. But it's the third thought pattern that we really have to be aware of and that can make things more painful!
The first thought pattern most of us have suffering is the acknowledgment that we are suffering.
So it might be a simple thought like:
"I hate it when this happens"
"I can't believe they said that"
Whatever your inner dialogue, it's the realization that there is something happening that is bringing suffering of some kind.
The second thought we have around suffering is the thought that we don't want the suffering to happen.
This tends to sound something like this:
"I wish this wasn't happening"
"I don't want to deal with this"
"I don't need to put up with this"
And this often leads us to the third thought pattern!
It's the third thought pattern that makes everything so much worse!
And yet we have total control over it!
The third thought pattern we have about suffering is the thought that we SHOULDN'T be suffering!
So many of us go through a hard time and think, for some reason, that is SHOULDN'T be happening to US!
(There is no bigger display of our ego coming out, then the idea that somehow we are exempt from suffering)
What does this third thought pattern sound like?
Well, you hear it in comments like:
"Why is this happening to me?"
"How could they do that to me?"
"I never thought this would happen to me!"
Too many of us make the painful things in life, that are bound to come our way harder by believing the lie that we should not have pain or suffering in our lives.
But this only exasperates and intensifies our negative feelings!
This strange conflict, "I am suffering and I shouldn't be suffering" sounds like this:
"I got fired from that job AND it should never have been me!"
"My husband was being a jerk AND how dare he treat me that way?"
"My siblings and I are fighting, WHY did I have to be born into this family!"
"I was just diagnosed with cancer AND I never thought it would happen to me!"
See there is the thing that causes pain, and then there is the belief that it shouldn't be that way, and that belief is the added insult that turns it into suffering.
Let's take a look at that list again but this time without the last end of the sentence:
"I got fired from that job."
"My husband was being a jerk."
"My siblings and I are fighting."
"I was just diagnosed with cancer."
Do you feel the difference?
Both are still painful, but when you lose the idea that you shouldn't suffer, you can look at the situations in your life without getting as caught up in the emotions and the drama.
That doesn't mean you don't feel the emotions - they just no longer have control over you.
So when you look at your inner dialogue, about the things that cause you pain, let go of the unhelpful belief that says
"I'm above suffering."
"I deserve to be exempt from suffering."
"I'm suffering right now and I shouldn't be."
This inner dialogue is the ego doing what it can to distract you - keeping you from working on the situation that causes you pain.
It does this because fixing the situation often means killing the ego.
So if you are committed to minimizing some needless suffering in your life, you can!
By listening to your inner dialogue about suffering, you can learn to distinguish between the different thought patterns and when you keep your focus on the first and second thought patterns you can feel the emotions that your pain brings us but without becoming attached to them!