Suffering is a wonderful teacher.
In many cases, it’s a person’s only spiritual teacher. If I had not suffered I would not be writing this article and coaching others. Most people believe that life is a laborious uphill struggle from start to finish in order to achieve their final goal of self-fulfillment in the form of a happy retirement. I’m not denying that it can be extremely challenging at times, however, believing that eventual success is a reward requiring a lifetime of toil and turmoil is absurd. This makes the entire journey an ongoing painful experience for various reasons.
Firstly, the pressure to pursue and reach this final goal continues to mount and is rarely achieved as intended.
A tranquil retirement often never arrives. Yet, people wear their life’s scars like a badge of honour with immense pride. They cling to their suffering and it becomes an integral part of their identity and existence. It perpetuates suffering.
Secondly, living with the intention of pursuing some fictitious idyllic future is completely nonsensical.
Your entire life is spent striving for some future event which doesn’t exist. It exists in one’s mind as a surreal thought of some form of utopia. But the future doesn’t exist. It never arrives, because life can only be experienced now as the present moment.
Finally, the present moment is treated as a means to an end and is hardly even noticed by people. The need to achieve something to find future fulfillment remains at the top of life’s agenda and ‘the Now’ is almost completely overlooked. But life can only be enjoyed now.
Suffering, itself, is a blessing in disguise.
It leads to salvation once we realise that all things happen for a reason. Our mistakes help us to evolve as individuals and all suffering provides a portal to celestial bliss. In truth, you can never get it wrong because our world of polarities exists as a means for us to awaken and enables us to realise who we really are, extensions of pure positive energy.
Excessive use of the word ‘wrong’ is pessimistic and is often judgmental. It originates from an emotional state of compunction or superiority, i.e. from our ego or a false sense of self.
On the other hand, once the glass is seen as half full, all events are viewed from an optimistic perspective and life is not so threatening anymore. Our little scruples and unpleasantries begin to dissolve and are no longer that unpleasant anymore.
Sereneness does not have to be an idealistic thought formed in the head or come at the cost of one’s own inner peace.
It can become a reality in our daily lives. Why wait until a ripe old age to reward yourself with your lifelong goal of serenity when you have the power to access it right now.
This beautiful quote from Jesus provides an apt summation: “The kingdom of heaven does not come with signs to be perceived.”