Mutterings: The Art of Suffering: A Compromised Existence

Posted: August 27, 2013 in Scribble
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I was taught at a very early age that life is all about suffering. While Adam had to work through blood, sweat and tears to bring food to the table Eve had to experience the throes of childbirth to bring in another life to the world. Basically, mankind fell from grace because they ate that damn apple. And in some parts of the world women are still blamed for taking the first bite.

When I was a kid, having abundant love for nature, day dreaming, being imaginative and creative was deemed as foolish things. I was always shot down by the adults who kept reminding me of the reality of suffering. I had to study hard and work hard if I wanted to make it in this life. There were no short cuts and one had to do what one had to do even though one didn’t like it. And on top of that religion promises paradise only if one suffers dutifully on earth. If one could suffer like the saints to the stage of martyrdom heaven will be waiting with open gates.

With all this idea of suffering I nurtured in my mind I was naturally attracted to all things tragic and sad. So, growing up knowing that I was not worth a dime killed my self-confidence and it also got me worrying about the faults I was born with whenever I looked at my reflection.

It was not until later when I started questioning the meaning of it all that I began to understand what this mandatory suffering was all about. Through all the years of being a teacher and meeting people from various backgrounds, maturity, and beliefs I realized almost everyone I knew had reservations about themselves. There was always something physically that they didn’t like about themselves; too tall, too short, too fat, too skinny, too unpretty, too stupid … the list goes on. And there was also that demonic anger that never seemed to go away. Seriously, if we were taught to only see the pessimistic side of life wouldn’t we learn to hate everything that we stand for? Most of us are incarcerated in closets by choice, not just the LGBT ones but the kind that we lock ourselves into because we feel we are worthless and will not amount to much. Like any other forms of imprisonment, sooner or later we become monsters out of our own worst nightmares. And when this monster suffers in pain, everyone else in close proximity will suffer too because misery loves company.

The one thing that I learned is that the sufferings that we are meant to experience is not permanent. Whether it is unrequited love, abandonment, physical or mental distress, failing health or anything that upset our routine are just part of the growing process. In time, you will learn that suffering for something that you love doing will turn into sheer bliss. And if your focus turns toward the positive any suffering can be overcome and can be easily endured.

And it’s not about using a short cut that lessens a person’s integrity to achieve his goal. It is about the short change that we perform on ourselves that bring us down. Imagine wanting to be a writer but selling ourselves short by writing dispassionately because self-publishing cuts through the red tapes of meticulous editors and possible rejections. By doing that we may not continue writing if our eBooks don’t sell very well or when we get some unfavorable comments which can stab us right through the heart.

We live in a compromised existence where we believe that sacrificing our happiness is commendable and admirable. If that is the case then we might as well just do nothing, suffer and die. But if we decide today that suffering means experiencing something new and not repeating the same mistake then we would have a better chance at surviving this awesome world the best way possible with hopes and aspirations. However, if you choose to continue to suffer because you feel you deserve it, then no one can make it any worse for you because you are the greatest master of your own imagination.


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