Imagine a world in which no one tried to fix their own suffering.
Give yourself a minute . . .
Do you see a world at war?
Do you see a world at peace?
Oh, I know. You feel, believe, and have been taught that suffering must be managed or willed away. Every expert under the sun claims to have the method, activity, motivational mantra, routine, practice, or substance promised to lead to positivity or peace of mind.
But honestly, in your experience, have any of these ever worked? Or do you employ methods, find relief, suffer again, then repeat this very cycle?
Why, then, do you—or better yet, we—keep seeking an end to suffering?
Could it be that we can’t find one?
After all, for thousands of years, the smartest minds in the universe (prophets, clerics, doctors, neuroscientists, researchers, professors, physicists) have done their best to solve the riddle of suffering; tons of theories have been proposed. If suffering could be terminated or even managed with any consistency, wouldn’t we have figured it out by now?
And even more critical, could it be that the suggestion that suffering must be fixed and the subsequent attempt to fix it are actually contributing to the disharmony of our culture? Could it be that looking outward for the cause and cure for suffering leads to blame and our widespread habit of lashing out?
What if to solve the riddle of suffering, we must consider the opposite approach?
What if to live without suffering, we must first be willing to live with suffering?
Again, nothing else is doing the trick.
The next time you suffer, don’t run. Don’t cope. Don’t temporarily distract yourself. Don’t look for the cause or the cure.
See what the experience of living with suffering actually brings.
In the absence of resistance, perhaps you—and the world—will find peace.