Ring of Suffering

The particular post sparked the interest to look inward at my own allegiance to my ring of suffering. I have years of experience of grudgingly going through situations that I do not feel comfortable with. Constantly denying that inner voice saying, “hey, this isn’t a good idea, let’s get out before it becomes worse”. Years, I tell you. It beckoned the question, why keep suffering yourself? Haven’t I had enough already?

Let’s get real for a moment, no one else is holding a gun to my head saying you must suffer. Growing up it was a different situation, I wasn’t in control of what was going on around me. I had to live in accordance with my parents.

I had little to say as to where I want to live and what kind of clothes I want to wear. I was pushed into sports, academia, and high achievements. Spending money on myself was limited. But once entering into adulthood, the decisions were all mine. Yet, I kept picking up that gun and holding it to myself saying you must suffer.

I guess more than anything, it became the norm. I am used to “sticking it out” and “pushing through”. NEVER EVER indulge or spend money frugal. Restrict your passions, restrict your desires. My brain had become a drill sergeant spewing out sufferable commands. Until I got a glimpse into the world of non-sufferers. Those who still dealt with real life (pain, heartbreak, and all) but chose not to indulge in restricting, obsessing, or demoralizing acts. They chalked it up as life lessons and move forward in self-care. Such a foreign concept. They weren’t miserable.

Now one thing I can tell about life, it isn’t long enough to live miserably. And I am pretty certain my whole existence of this planet wasn’t based on being depressed with compounding sorrow and agony. So why stay in situations that lead to misery and suffering?

Most excuses sound like this:

“It is the only choice I have.” I highly doubt that in the large world we live in that anything really boils down to ONE solitary option. Try again.

“It is too expensive to do what I really desire.” I have had this excuse on replay for the past twenty-five years. Guess what, it is more expensive to suffer. Buy a cheap bed, guess what you will be paying for later in life… A chiropractor. Eat fast food, you will most likely be visiting a hospital and scheduling for cardiac procedures. Don’t go to schooling for the career you want… get paid 40% less than those who do graduate with a degree. Suffering is expensive.

“I am too scared to go after what I really want.” Life is scary, accept it. But it is usually not as difficult or as scary as it may seem in your head. Also, the scary part passes pretty quickly clearing the way to an incredible reward you worked for.

I personally tend to forget that suffering is optional, a realization highlighted by Joyful Shimmy’s author. I forget that I don’t have to constantly live in pain, stress or anxiety. I get to make mistakes and make amends, but I don’t get to live regrettably in them. I get to lovingly pick myself up from those trials and find a healthier more caring decisions for myself. Life is about learning. I am constantly doing just that.