What do we do with our pain? How do we handle our suffering? The only reason pain or suffering exists within us is because we insist on believing that pain and suffering is because we do not experience what we believe we want or should. It is our attachment to particular outcomes and the expectations we desire that lead us to suffer. Buddhism says that if we attach ourselves too much to our own sense of personhood, things, people or even this world we will encounter suffering. The assumption is that suffering is bad. I disagree today. In the past I would have agreed and said it is better to detach from outcomes, from your ideas and the things in our lives in order to get an easier and lighter experience in this life. While I still think detachment is a generally good idea, I think there is another way to use pain and suffering as a tool to empower us.
Our pain and our challenges in this life experience can deeply move and inspire us to achieve such wonderful things. We can see our pain as a doorway in to which we launch ourselves into the transforming experiences of our lives. We can use our pain to inspire us to action and to fill our lives with deep and wonderful purpose. However, holding too tightly to anything has the potential to produce our own brand of suffering. The best way I know how to confront pain is with compassion. In other words, when I feel the discomfort of life, it is then that I offer myself a little compassion. I use my three affirmations to help sooth my inner conflict. And it affirms who I am, my purpose in this life, and the intention of my being. I am love. I am joy. I am so very good always.