Most people look at life as a perfect place where everything is beautiful and joyful. But life has its own ups and downs, some people easily overcome these obstacles while others get stuck. When we face betrayal from our loved ones, lose someone very close to our heart, face failures, diseases or any other suffering that life might hand over to us, we often become so negative that it overpowers us. 

We begin to think that this world is a scary place, people are not good enough,and life dawns upon us like a slow death. However I think what if we never had to suffer, we never had to fail, we never had to face any resistance. Wouldn’t life become too boring? It would be a road trip where only trees can be seen and the view doesn’t change till the end. If we get what we all want, then what will be left behind. Moreover, how will we know compassion if we never suffer, how will we know love if we never know hate, how will we know the importance of relationships if we never had to face loneliness. Suffering is an important ingredient to bring out the best of human values in us, I believe. 

Life stretches us beyond our limits, but I think sometimes people take it too seriously or if I say, they don’t have anyone to tell them that it’s ok to have suffering in your life. Therefore, their experiences take worse form and they start building walls around them and confine their life into their head. With that descends many other emotions like trust issues, anger issues, self centeredness, etc.  Their Loneliness compel them to distract themselves in various ways like they do that through social media, watching t.v., eating, partying, etc. 

However, I believe that the more we run from suffering, the more negativity engenders. So why not just face our negative emotions and just not take them too seriously, and look at them as mere emotions coming and going. From this, I remembered a very beautiful story, where Buddha asked his disciple to get the water from a nearby pond. When the disciple reached there, it was topped up by the mud. Disciple became sad and told Buddha that the water in the pond was not drinkable as it was filled with mud. Buddha demanded him to go again and bring the water from the same water no matter what. The Disciple, without any argument, fulfills the command of his Guru and starts walking towards the pond which was about 2 kms away. Walking made it longer.When he reached there, he was surprised to see that the pond’s water was crystal clear as all the mud had settled down. He bowed his head in gratitude for Buddha as he learned a very profound lesson that day about life. Time settles down everything, and patience is what we need to work on like we tone our muscles during that time.And while we are patiently waiting for everything to settle down, practice gratitude,  see what we all have in life rather than what we don’t have. 

In the end, I want to pen down some beautiful lines from the great book, ‘ No Mud, No lotus’, by Thich Nhat Hanh:

‘According to the creation story in the biblical book of Genesis, God said,’ Let there be light.’ I like to imagine that light replied, saying,’ God, I have to wait for my twin brother, darkness, to be with me. I can’t be there without the darkness.’ God asked, ‘ Why do you need to wait? Darkness is there.’ Light answered, ‘In that case, then I am also already there.’

If we focus exclusively on pursuing happiness, we may regard suffering as something to be ignored or resisted. We think of it as something that gets in the way of happiness. But the art of happiness is also and at the same time the art of knowing how to suffer well. If we know how to use our suffering, we can transform it and suffer much less. Knowing how to suffer well is essential to realizing true happiness.’

So if you want to know the art of suffering well then I would recommend this book to you all. Rest, I don’t think I need to say anything after these beautiful lines by the great Saint. Absorb them. Contemplate and practice them. Lots of love and laughter. Happy Suffering!