Alphabet soup for the soul – “S”

Words from Walden

S is for Suffering

“Pain is certain, suffering is optional”


The Buddha famously said ‘life is suffering’ and that is true if you believe it. It does not however, have to be that way. I believe pain is a bodily experience whereas suffering is a condition of the mind. There can be one without the other.

Henry Ford has been attributed with saying “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right”.  It’s a choice and each individual gets to decide how to proceed. I believe the same goes for suffering. You can decide to suffer or not, it is up to you.

Let us use the example of having to receive a dozen stitches in your arm from a wound. The cut is deep and it hurts. There may be lots of blood around the cut and you may not be able to focus on anything…

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