Why Suffering Is a Choice

Make friends with pain and you’ll never be alone.

Pain is not your fault but suffering is your choice.

You’ve been wronged my someone close or your body is fighting back against a terrible disease. Maybe, you’ve been mentally or physically abused. You’re in pain. Your mind, body or soul is hurting. So what?

Life hurts you.

As I healed from my traumatic past of childhood abuse, many people wanted me to suffer right alongside of them. While I understood that all they wanted to do was show my support, by getting angry with my abuser, seek justice and never forgive. My destiny was not in choosing to suffer, mine was getting rid of the pain.

I’ve always thought pain and suffering go hand-in-hand. One of those things where you couldn’t have one without the other. When filing an insurance claim, we can even get paid for “pain and suffering.” Pain and suffering just seem to be a part of the course of life. But is it? Pain, yes! Suffering, no.

Pain is your body’s response to an extreme stimulus that it doesn’t know how to handle. With pain, your unconscious mind alerts the conscious being to stop whatever it is that is happening. Seek shelter, cease and assist, RUN! I get the point of pain, but what about the suffering?

While your pain is not your fault and you are doing everything you can to get away from it, then why suffer? While you may not have the choice to stop the pain, you always have the choice to no suffer.

So many of us choose to suffer as if it is who we are. We identify with it and it becomes our story. It’s very unfortunate that we have been through such awful pain in our lives, but that doesn’t mean we must make it a part of us.

Victor Frankl‘s book, Man’s Search for Meaning is my favorite book about pain and suffering. It’s a story of survival of Victor from Nazi concentration camps. Beaten and battered and left with nothing left in life but the breath in his lungs, Victor never gave in to suffering. He always remained anchored in the believe that even if the world he was living in controlled him physically, they could never control him emotionally. He survived by refusing to suffer.

Just remember that by choosing to suffer, you are taking precious time and energy from the best part of you which could be fighting the pain. By letting go of the suffrage, you open the door to setting your pain free. Let go of the suffering and set your pain free. Pain is guaranteed and may not be under your control, but suffering is a choice, and you always have power over that.

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