Do people suffer by choice?

Suffering is the by-product of being a living entity- whether it is a human, animal or plant. All that is born, suffer from birth to death. It is our defining trait. Even God had to suffer- Rama had to suffer the seperation from his wife, twice; Krishna was cursed to die as gruesomely as the Kaurava clan. Suffering can be mental or physical.

Consider the loss of a loved one. Undoubtedly one feels pain when someone important to you is gone. This pain is, just like any other pain. It will overwhelm and dominate one’s experience, and will emotionally sweep you off our feet. It is hard to think clearly when one is in pain, let alone be deeply aware of oneself.

Life is all about change and accepting those changes however bitter and hard that truth seems. Suffering is a part of life. Everything has its ups and downs and so does life. Accepting the imperfections can reduce half the stress in our lives. When you say you are suffering, it is basically how you respond to the situation. Respond, don’t react to the situation. Let us say you have injured your foot and the pain is excruciating. Have you observed, when you watch a movie/talk with a dear one/do something with involvement you don’t feel the pain. Similarly, mental suffering can be ended by simply changing the way you respond to the situation. Before losing your mind over trivial issues, ask yourself some basic questions like: Does the situation need to be dealt in this manner? Do I need to be upset/angry with the person responsible, if yes do what is needed else just let it go. Holding onto to unnecessary thoughts, clinging onto the past can lead to loss of mental equilibrium. A beautiful example as to why holding onto the past can be painful. Take a glass of water and hold it for a minute or two. Now, add more water and maintain your posture. Heavy yet? That’s how the past is. You don’t cling onto it; you learn from it.

This suffering is due ignorance and unsteadiness of the mind.

BG 2.56

“One who is not disturbed in mind even amidst the threefold miseries or elated when there is happiness, and who is free from attachment, fear and anger, is called a sage of steady mind”.

We act according to our impulses and resultant actions take place. It is not that God is making you suffer, or some of his creations are enjoying while others are suffering. You are solely responsible for what you are going through. We can choose not to suffer only if we can become aware that we are choosing to suffer, and when we are capable of choosing not to. For most people choosing not to suffer is not an option. Today it is all about telling the world how one is suffering through social media with all sorts of rubbish by fake feminists, narcissists and gaining attention. Everyday several thousands of people die due to starvation, thirst, social anarchy,  animals slaughtered to satisfy taste buds, forests burned down to “modernize”. The list is endless. 

“The mills of the gods grind slowly, but they grind small”.

Yes, people suffer by choice if not consciously, subconsciously. Every action that you undertake has a consequence- good or bad depends on what you did. The consequence may not be immediate but justice will be done to all.

As Buddha said,

“Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional”.

You are free to choose your destiny but remember, you chose the path. 

2 thoughts on “Do people suffer by choice?

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