Home > Coping, Life in general, Therapy > Pain is Inevitable; Suffering is Optional

Pain is Inevitable; Suffering is Optional

We have a consuming passion to have things our own way since infancy. Real life, however, is full of uncertainties. We are faced with unexpected events that could be either pleasant, or horrid. Nice surprises or lucky encounters make us love life, energize us, and brighten up our frame of mind. At other times, things go astray: Dreams collapse, loved ones die, failure strikes, or we get betrayed. All sorts of negative feelings spiral us downward to the experience of inevitable pain.

As humans, we are honored to have such distinct emotions: honored, as these lift us beyond the physical experience shared by other species. We welcome with grace positive feelings and take these for granted as the proper state of affairs. When pain strikes us, we indulge in self-blame, or blame the whole course of being. We forget that pain is an essential component of our growth journey. It’s a powerful educator of the truth that nothing is absolutely within our control. We can never be totally in charge of our surrounding no matter how hard we try. What we can control, though, is our emotional reactions to what life brings us.

So, instead of despairing in face of setbacks, we have a choice between ruminating over our helplessness or empowering ourselves with added knowledge about reality: We are only masters of ourselves. Our choices pertain to our handling our own responses. We are what we choose to be: happy or hurt; filled with gratitude or denial; passionate learners or mediocre passives. When we sober up and look back at our past sufferings, we often come to realize that we unnecessarily let it dominate us for a lengthier time than needed. Life goes on with all its ebbs and flows. The cycle persists. We cannot totally eliminate the pain experience, but we surely can shorten our suffering. In the end, all it takes is serious attempts at remaining open to considering healthier possibilities……..

  1. Anonymous
    April 20, 2009 at 6:17 pm

    Dania, this so true as we often dwell on what’s negative and cease to see all the positives or how these negatives helped make us stronger individuals.


  2. abhi
    April 21, 2009 at 11:59 am

    What you pointed is right. Its a cycle happiness follows sadness and viceversa .How can we enjoy an emotion if there is only one emotion.
    We can study from our past experiences and improve ourselves.


  3. Anonymous
    May 6, 2009 at 10:48 pm

    You say you ‘learned life the hard way’. Do you care to expand on this?
    You say ‘people who have lost loved ones’. Have you lost a loved one? Do you speak from experience? Do you care to expand on this?


  4. Dania Dbaibo Darwish
    May 7, 2009 at 6:10 pm

    Thanks for your comments.
    Yes, I've learned life the hard way (I'm not 20 anymore). & Yes, I've lost loved ones, & Yes, I speak from my personal experience & the observation of others. I haven't met anyone who hasn't so far.

    "Care to expand on this?". I can, but choose not to. I didn't think anyone would "care" to know. Why dwell on negative aspects in our lives. I have a lot more to be thankful about.

    I sense that your words reflect on going pain, or am I mistaken?


  5. Anonymous
    May 9, 2009 at 10:43 pm

    I’ve had my share of ups and downs, and certainly had to deal with loss and grief.

    I like your blog; mostly, I admire your guts and your creativity. This must have come after a decision you took to take your life in charge. I can only assume it was after something detrimental happening to you.

    My only constructive comment would be : people NEED to hear about you personally. Your posts seem to ‘preach’ (no offense) positivity; and, again, no offense, most of your advice is something which can be read anywhere.

    I understand that you might not be able to divulge much about your personal history- your name sounding of Middle Eastern/Turkish origins. And I understand your concern for privacy. But to earn credibility I think you have to give more of yourself. Many people would see themselves in you and thus get inspired, and encouraged.

    Again, just a thought…

    Keep up the good work…


  6. Dania Dbaibo Darwish
    May 10, 2009 at 6:50 am

    WOOOOOOOOW!! I love feedback!!! And I really appreciate the time you took to explain your point of view ‘Anonymous’.

    It makes sense about trying to make the Blog more personal. I’ll make sure I’ll do that next time I write something.

    Thanks again for sharing your insight. I am sure I can learn more from you if I read your blog. Or would you rather remain ‘Anonymous’?


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