Why Am I Suffering?
"Many people in our culture are chronically overworked, undernourished, tired and suffer from an insufficiency of time to simply be in community, to rest, to be creative. Living with such limitations and pressures should be expected to produce a population that is reactively hedonistic, impulsive, and prone to addiction. Behaviors that are addictive (e.g., drugs, alcohol) anddestructive (e.g., over eating, alcohol, sugar, fat) are simply frustrated and maladaptive coping strategies to combat the stress caused by a damaging, unnatural paradigm from which most people cannot escape.”
- Dr. Alex Vasquez
So before we go any further, it is important to understand that you are fighting an uphill battle. You are not alone in the fight, eveyone in the world is fighting a battle inside themselves. It is what makes us human. But you also have the ability to choose and fight back.
Question Your Emotions
Let's face it, life is going to suck at times. One day you are the king or queen and the next day you are the jester in the courtroom. So what gives? I believe our feelings are just symbols, ideas our subconscious mind generates. The emotion itself doesn't cause any harm. It may change how we feel and think, but it doesn't take hold of our body and force us to do anything. At the end of the day we are responsible for our decisions.
Suffering Can Teach You
Throughout my life I have been held captive by my emotions. Over the last two years, I have learned to question them and be aware of my reactions. Granted, I still fall prey to the emotional beast inside of me. But I am able to control this irrational animal by slowing down and asking, "Why am I suffering?"
You are going to suffer. It is inevitable. But you don't have to let the suffering last, nor let it determine the choices you make. There can be beauty in pain, it can bring attention to an underlying problem.
For example, if you are working out and your shoulder is numb, there is a good chance that you hurt your shoulder. Should you keep going and ignore the pain? No! You should stop and figure out what is wrong. The same can be said for our emotional state.
Usually you feel a certain way because something happened, be it good or bad, there was something that influenced the mood. So you should ask yourself, "What is causing my current mood? And how can I fix it?"
Whenever you feel happy, you should do the same thing. Ask yourself a simple question: "Why am I so happy?" This simple question can show what you truly want in life.
What Makes You Happy?
For me, happiness lies in problem-solving and coaching others. But at times I forget. I complain about the early mornings and late nights. I feel pity for myself when I am tired. Thus, we must train ourselves to not forget what brings us joy.
Viktor Frankl, the author of Man's Search For Meaning, brings light to the subject. I think it is the perfect quote to leave you with.
“What man actually needs is not a tensionless state but rather the striving and struggling for some goal worthy of him. What he needs is not the discharge of tension at any cost, but the call of a potential meaning waiting to be fulfilled by him.”