Sometimes I think we choose to suffer.
We believe suffering is the path we need to take to get anywhere good. We treat it as some sort of sick and twisted rite of passage.
I call bullsh*t.
I can agree that there is inevitable suffering in this world and in this life. We don’t control when people are taken from us. People leave and hurt us in unimaginable ways. But they also love us, and they stay. There is great growth that comes from unavoidable pain and suffering. The strongest people I know have faced some of the greatest hardships. I respect and admire their spirits for what they’ve overcome.
On the other hand, there is suffering we can control. Suffering we can simply opt out of if we get real about who we want to be and what we want our truth to look like. There’s no room for this kind of controllable suffering if you’re in your truth, walking hand in hand with everything your gut says matters to you.
Stop running upstream only to trip and fall and stumble and hurt. Get yourself a tube and start floating with the current of your life. It’s speaking to you.
The best choice we have is to start listening and authentically obeying it.
Many of us grew up thinking that if we weren’t suffering, we weren’t working hard enough, contributing enough, or on that long, windy, and often sh*tty road to success. Society and our culture paint a picture of what this journey looks like from an early age. Frankly, it looks painful.
So, we allow the following to become status quo and the framework we live inside of:
Work can’t be joyful.
Relationships without suffering don’t exist.
We are stuck and are victims of our circumstances.
With this thinking, we enter into battle with ourselves. In this battle, there’s not peace of mind. There is only constant unrest in our day-to-day existence.
A girl can’t get no peace.
Our authentic selves know bullsh*t when they smell it. The innate wisdom we were born with gasps for air under years of watered-down truths the world has served us as meals. It doesn’t know what it’s tasting or how to digest it, and it craves for something more fulfilling. It wants to be fed something it resonates with. And when it doesn’t get that, it resists and leaves us in a state of constant turmoil and suffering.
So what should we do to alleviate and eliminate this from our lives?
Honor your flow. Get to know what your gut sounds like when it speaks to you. Learn to differentiate that voice from the fearful words and false truths of the world. Boldly follow your instincts and let things unfold.
You were born with an innate wisdom to know yourself and honor your needs, wants, and dreams. Protect that. Win it back at all costs.
Because your work can be joyful. You can absolutely love what you do and not suffer in your career.
Because you are worthy of a relationship that lifts you up and brings your joy. And they do exist.
Because you are not stuck anywhere you don’t want to be, no matter how difficult the challenges to move may feel in this moment.
Because you are not a victim. You are a warrior with the power and wherewithal to find joy and to keep it.
Author: Chelsey Reardon
Image: Christopher Campbell/Unsplash
Editor: Travis May
Copy editor: Yoli Ramazzina
Social editor: Yoli Ramazzina