To live is to suffer, to survive is to find some meaning in the suffering.

Friedrich Nietzsche

 Gaurvi and Raghav were married for the last 8yrs. They were blessed with a sweet little angel Ayesha, 6year old. On her birth, they had a big celebration, Ayesha looked like a princess and had a beautiful, dimpled smile. Everything was perfect and happy all around. Time was flying and little Ayesha was blossoming like a rose, but thorns are also part of flower. With time Gaurvi started realizing that Ayesha was different from other kids of her age. She could feel that Ayesha was facing challenges in her speech and other milestones. She was slow in them. Yet never in her mind something odd struck. However, when in playschool, the teachers also gave an alert the parents immediately got worried and rushed for professional help. On consultation with the pediatric and other specialists, it came to light that Ayesha was a differently-abled child. She was falling in the Autism spectrum. The parents were in shock as never in their dreams they could have thought about this, everything during pregnancy and delivery was normal then how come this happened. This statement was constantly hitting them and making the situation worse. They were in complete denial and had outbursts of emotions on each other. They were feeling shattered and nothing around seem to console them. A year has passed, but now their every day is filled with mental agony and challenges. Their pain has overpowered the love and empathy that Ayesha deserves. Both parents are trying hard to accept the reality, yet they are suffering in a way that has no antidote.

We all can understand that when we are part of these painful realities of life, or when our loved ones have a brush with it, they are like the life turning points. From there, everything changes, the life may appear standstill. The mind and future appear to be gloomy and more than finding a way out, the challenge is more to first accept that it has happened, and we are part of it. There is a constant tussle in mind and life, Why Me? Literally, these situations are the testing times of the boundaries that we set for our life. The more the non-acceptance of the pain the more we suffer.

Pain is multidimensional, it is not only about physical suffering or discomfort caused due to injury or illness, but it can also be in the form of acute mental or emotional discomfort. Whenever we experience physical discomfort or pain, we do try to remedy it out, but, when we suffer emotional discomfort, instead of addressing it, we most of the time avoid it or find an escape. Somehow, we tend to focus on ways that only drives it. Like for example, getting caught in the vicious cycle of complaining or ruminating about the pain; many times, people also use drugs, alcohol, smoking, etc. to find temporary relief.

These are all short cuts that we usually embrace to dwell on our pain. Pain gives birth to suffering. The way we react to hurt (pain), decides on our intensity of suffering. Pain is inevitable and accidental or maybe like a close companion of life. It only depends on situation that how we perceive it, like for example a mother undergoes a hell like labor pain while giving birth to child but as the first cry of child comes, all the pain vanishes. The mother opts happiness and joy over the suffering she went through in the labor room. But if the child is diagnosed with some irreversible sickness, now, how she will choose to respond to it over a period, decides the suffering. Like in the above story, the couple chose anger, misery, and grief over the steps that could be taken up to explore and develop the other qualities that the child may possess.

Even our very renowned scientist Einstein, in his formative years was discouraged by his schoolteachers. But his mother, did not give up or fell into the trap of negative emotions. Rather she took it as a challenge and today we cannot deny his contribution to science and to the basic life ease that he invented. Had her mother given up or opted of a way that only worsened her suffering the world would have been far behind in day-to-day small technology. Whenever we chose to silence our sufferings it may then eventually develop into either psychosomatic or chronic illnesses like migraine, cervical, hormonal disturbances or anger, sadness, anxiety, crying outbursts etc. all these are manifestations of emotional pain.

Managing emotional pain is a slow process and a journey where we gradually learn how to balance between our emotions and expectations. The expectations that are all about our desires/ wishes. When those expectation does not get fulfilled, then we get a shock of our life. It aches our heart and we suffer. The mantra to happy life is to keep on resetting the emotions when expectations are not met else the suffering will be beyond healing. It will not even then let us cherish the small moments. Like it can be said that the pain we experience is like weeds in the garden of life and it is purely the decision of the caretaker of that garden that how he will use those weeds. Whether he convert the weeds (i.e., pain) into manure that can create a rich harvest, or he let them be like an overgrown wilderness that may eventually overwhelm his life with unhappiness and soreness.

So, it will be more helpful if we try and adopt an outlook that can lessen the intensity of pain. Pain results in suffering and the more we cling to pain the more we suffer. Suffering is a by-product of our pain and our mind manufactures it. The good thing is that we can manage the manufacturing of emotions that are making us feel worse day by day. For e.g., Many couples constantly keep on complaining about each other and usually have the habit of recalling the past incidents that were painful and they still ache. Those heartache moments are the triggers for fuming the fire in present. Separation in relationships is the result of keeping that pain alive in mind and piling it like a heap of stones.

For having a lighter heart and better life, it will be better to have an open mind for readjusting the frame of thoughts. Suffering remains in our mind, that never let the pain get healed. It creates negative emotions that may create a havoc in our life. But we can learn to cease them choosing a mindset that will help to give a new direction to the painful experiences. We do not have to let our grief (pain) become in charge of our emotions making us angry or sad and neither must expend negative emotional energy trying to avoid it.

Image result for images of pain

Observing emotional pain is like learning a skill, as we go through different painful situations and experiences, we learn to go deeper into analyzing our reflexes for it whether to make the suffering more fruitful or distressful.

Pain and suffering led me to God and God led me to the stronger version of me.

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Alpna Sharma
Alpna Sharma
3 years ago

So informative about our emotions

3 years ago

Very well explained…Looking forward to read more from you Nidhi

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