Musings

How to handle suffering ― 2 min read

A single tree on the Scottish Highlands

The fleetest beast to bear you to perfection is suffering.

—Meister Eckhart

Do not:

  • Resist: Fighting how you feel will drain your energy and add frustration on top of your pain.
  • Wallow and dwell: If you ruminate obsessively on your suffering you will be sucked further into it, but not in a healthy way. Going deeper and deeper into darkness is not always the best way to the the light.

Do:

  • Look after yourself: Eat well, walk in nature, sleep well, do things you enjoy and see people you love. Allow yourself time to recover, just as if you had sustained any physical illness or injury.
  • Ask for help: Some of our deepest connections come from sharing ourselves fully and truthfully with others. Find people around you who care for you and know how to listen, you may find opening up to them incredibly transformative. Look to your friends, your family, strangers and professionals (e.g. counsellors). Help can come from unexpected places and you may find that you are not as alone as you thought.
  • Listen to your suffering: This is different from dwelling and obsessively ruminating, this means understanding your suffering and allowing that understanding to change you. Learn from your experiences and grow from them.
  • Connect to the present moment: Remember you are alive, connect to your body, the people and the world around you.
  • Have faith that everything will get better: because ultimately it will.

Remember that flowers grow in the mud.


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