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Coping with Suffering– Part 5

One can then deduce how even our unavoidable suffering and pain in this world has some meaning and plan – a divine one that’s far beyond our tiny intelligence to fathom. Mignon McLaughlin put it eloquently, ‘When suffering comes, we yearn for some sign from God, forgetting we have just had one.’

Once we learn to accept our situations and see life and death beyond our own mental world, we are better prepared to cope with them. Many get so worked up with their problems that they are unable to function effectively. It’s time we realize life is not only brief but also unpredictable. It’s futile to be drowned in our miseries when we could as well bring light and joy in this world. Aristotle’s words make so much sense: ‘Suffering becomes beautiful when anyone bears great calamities with cheerfulness, not through insensibility but through greatness of mind.’

This doesn’t mean we ignore our pain, it’s just that we learn to accept them before we transcend our mind’s unhappy state. If our definition of happiness is the feeling of pleasure, then all our attempts to be happy will be frustrated. That’s because feelings are fleeting; they come and go. A deep sense of purpose is what will make our lives more fulfilling.

And that’s the third and most important step: seek what truly defines you; what is it that excites you enough to get up from the bed each morning, and what is the real you? Once you have a purpose you can happily begin making a difference in this world.

Yes suffering will be there, but now your life is a complete package of various emotions that come and go as you live for your mission. Without a purpose our suffering is eternal because we live in fear. As the sixteenth century philosopher of the French Renaissance Michel Montaigne said, “A man who fears suffering is already suffering from what he fears.”It’s a life of purpose and aspiration that helps you live beyond your mind. 

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