Why Suffering Is The Best Fuel For Change (Sometimes)

Jamie Silverstein
Why Suffering Is The Best Fuel For Change (Sometimes)

I’ve had an interesting week. And, by interesting, I mean reactive-as-hell type of week. I decided to take the entire internet personally. (HINT: This does not work out well...) I managed to convince myself that one of dear friends was working to undermine me. (Of course, she wasn’t. And, for that matter, she didn’t even know about the drama in my head!) And, my sweet boyfriend decided that now was a good time to point out to me how I often elicit my own suffering. (Sometimes, I wish he was right less...) All in all, I was struggling.

Suffering is sometimes the best fuel for change.

Love Is The Practice

It is easy to love the good-- good days, good people, good juju. But, can we love the struggle too? Can we remember that struggle is there for a reason? Like a butterfly gaining strenght to fly by wrestling it’s way out of the cocoon, we need struggle to strengthen our own capacity to achieve liberation. Struggle creates space by causing us to confront our encroaching beliefs and habits. Did I really need to read something that validated my feelings in order to have them?-- No. What I actually needed to do was confront my fear that my feelings are untrustworthy.

Observe The Mechanics Of Your Discontent

The mechanism of our struggle matter much more than the details that upset us. When you notice you are suffering, ask yourself: where does that feeling comes from? Do you look for external approval? Do you need to physically ‘prove’ something to yourself? Do you jockey for your own love based on the past? These are the questions to confront. These are the questions (and struggles) to love.

Stop The Drama. You Are Already Love...

Ultimately, we must learn to love the moments we are confronted and challenged by our own expectations and desires. We must love our humanness. Even admist a struggle, we must remember that there is nothing *actually* wrong with us. We are not broken; we must simply remember not to engage the drama monkey. (I’m serious-- throw him a banana!) Remembering this helps us learn that we already have what we need.

“Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.” -- Rumi

Determined to ‘learn something’ from my habit of seeking discontent and negative validation, I did something out of character for me; I allowed myself to have negative thoughts without withholding my own acceptance. Instead of telling myself I needed to ‘fix’ something to deserve self-validation, I reminded myself that I needed to love everything.

Love is the practice. Always....