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We Choose To Suffer or We Choose to Heal

Posted Feb 24 2010 12:00am

Last night as I was preparing for dinner I was slicing some cheese and slipped and sliced my finger open with the knife. I quickly cleaned the cut and placed a bandage on it and continued on with getting the food ready for dinner. I didn’t give the cut another thought and you know what the cut began to heal. I did not have to do anything on a conscious level, my internal system took over right away and commenced with repairing my wound and I know that in a few days that cut will be fully repaired and I will barely remember that it happened.  For most of us that is how our body works, we have an internal system which launches into repair mode without us really having to put much thought into it. I could choose to be conscious of the cut and pick at it and worry about it and keep reopening it and messing with it which would interrupt my natural ability to heal and even create an infection which if I kept messing with it and interrupting my internal system from repairing it could lead to gangrene and possibly amputation of my finger. That would be crazy right? Why would I keep re-opening the wound and creating an environment where it could not heal? Why would I create suffering for myself?

Most people would never intentionally create a situation where they would suffer or cause more damage to themselves, right? One would think so, however we do create suffering in our mind with our thoughts and many people do it as a normal course of their day. In life stuff happens! Things don’t always go as we would like them to go.  We lose our job or have to take a lesser position to stay employed; we don’t have enough money to buy that special item that our child so desperately wants for their birthday; our significant other tells us that they need space and time to figure things out; we find out that we have a disease that is going to significantly impact our life; someone close to us dies unexpectedly in a accident or because they took there own life; etc. These are examples of events that happen in our life that can cause emotional wounds. Just as a physical wound needs to heal so does an emotional wound. How and when our emotional wounds heal is very much up to us and what we say to ourselves when stuff happens.  Will we choose to suffer or choose to heal?  Will are inner voice go into hyper worry mode and create more angst for us. Will we, through our thoughts continuously pick at our wound and keep re-opening the wound to the point where it can’t heal. Will we open up the wound every chance we get to show it to others and perpetuate our suffering? Will we take on the role of the victim and create a state of depression because of what we say to ourselves?  Will we parade our suffering like a badge of honor, cry for help yet refuse to get or take the help of others. Will we get to a point where we are defined by our suffering?

“It isn’t what happens to us that causes us to suffer; it’s what we say to ourselves about what happens”

– Pema Chodron – Buddhist Nun

Pain and hurt happens. I don’t know anyone who has not been hurt emotionally or not known some form of emotional pain. I don’t know anyone who has not incurred some emotional wounds along their journey. That being said, I do know many people who choose not to suffer because of what has transpired in their life and I also know other people who choose to suffer and to not allow their wounds to heal. The difference is thought, the difference is how we talk to ourselves about the wounds that’s we incur. The question is do our thoughts aid in the healing of our wounds or do they cause the wounds to remain open and fester to the point where the wound infects our whole being.

I ask you today to reflect on whatever suffering that you may be going through right now and to ask yourself why are you suffering. Ask yourself how you could change the way you talk with yourself to create the healing of your wounds and to eliminate the suffering. You have the ability heal yourself. You can begin the healing process today. Note, the key word in the last sentence is “process”. Healing is a process; there are no magic bullets or snake oil which will heal your wounds at this moment. You can however choose to end the suffering and begin the healing today by changing your thoughts and your internal voice.

Love yourself and begin the healing today, suffer no more.

“Worrying is the same thing as banging your head against the wall. It only feels good when you stop”

- John Powers

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