As I begin to live more committed to joy, my ego will sometimes knock on the door—or snarl at me from a cavern in my brain.
“You need to suffer to be a poet.”
“You need pain to grow.”
“You need hurt to heal, so you can help others.”
Who the f*ck says so?
I believe that we are all addicted to suffering. We crave its familiarity.
Suffering gives us an identity we can cling to. The brooding poet. The starving artist. The situationally depressed. The one with bad luck. The one who things never work out for. Any of these sound familiar?
Suffering is safe, because suffering is our baseline. It’s our normal. Suffering is trying to control what is uncomfortable, new, or expansive. Suffering is trying to control life.
Suffering is choosing to actively suffocate the parts of ourselves we have judged and turned into “shadow aspects.” It’s a comfortable reality, because we are so used to living it. It’s our safe space—we’ve set up shop there for years, decades, or even lifetimes.
But for f*cks sake, why?
Suffering is sabotaging our freedom, abundance, and love. It’s holding us back from thriving in our truth, our passions, and our callings.
Expansion is terrifying.
Joy makes us squirm in our boots.
And self-love feels strange in the beginning, because it’s new.
I once had a brilliant mentor who explained that we are only successful in the context of the reality we believe ourselves to be in. When we shift our context, we don’t know if we will be supported (aka survive) in this new system.
When we shift the context from “I’m broken” to “I’m thriving,” we don’t know what that will look like. When we switch from “I’m situationally depressed” to “I live committed to joy,” we have no idea if our basic needs will be met in that new reality.
It’s a shift, a leap.
We choose to suffer more than we choose to thrive because it’s safe. It’s a choice we learned from our parents, our culture, and the society around us.
But it’s just that—a choice.
When we unlock the doors that have led us to choose suffering, we gain new insight. And with new insight comes freedom—namely, the freedom to make a new choice. We can choose the life we want, and take aligned action from this new reality.
We can live our lives making choices, gaining feedback, and choosing again.
So what are we waiting for?
What will it take for us to finally choose growth? To choose joy?
We will remain afraid of our lives, our dreams, and our opportunity for greatness until we pull the rug out from under our suffering and open the doors we’ve been too scared to peer into.
Darlings, it’s time to leap.
Author: Annabelle Blythe
Image: Author’s own
Editor: Nicole Cameron
Copy Editor: Danielle Beutell
Social Editor: Travis May