As the old saying goes ‘pain is compulsory but suffering is optional’. Pain is what we will inevitably feel when something happens to the body that we occupy. But suffering is what we create at a mental and emotional level in ‘response’ to what happens to our body, and to what we perceive is happening in and to the world around us. Our body could be in pain, but we could choose not to suffer. Some do manage to make that choice.
On the other hand, while most people’s physical health is fine, they might spend their life suffering as the judge, blame, criticize and condemn others and/or rage against events in the world. Woven through those, and many other ‘behaviours’, are the emotions of suffering.
Pain is physical and suffering is mental/emotional . Pain is a signal that your body sends to your brain. The message is you need to change something within the energies of your physical form. It obviously means something needs to be healed. Suffering is an emotional message that says you have lost control of your perceptions, thoughts and feelings, and if you don’t want to suffer you need to change the way you ‘perceive and think’ about what is going on around you.
Pain can be caused by another person if they do something to your body, but suffering is always caused by one’s self according to what ou believe, which then shapes how and what you perceive. That’s why one person looks out from their prison cell and sees only the bars, while the guy in the next cell looks out and sees only the stars! Suffering can always be a choice. That’s not easy to see in a world that generally runs on the belief that we suffer naturally at the hands of our parents, managersrnments and even our weather! It’s a sign that we have forgotten that no one else is responsible for our thoughts and the emotions that we create and feel. That one realization alone, that it’s always me and not them who makes me think and feel this way, is an insight that can ultimately allow you to free your self from suffering. If you want to!
- extracted from Immune System of the Soul by Mike George