Ceasing Suffering with Self-Compassion

December 31, 2019

An abrastract drawing with a line down the middle - dark themes to the left and light themes to the right with a detached smile.
Reading Time: 3 minutes

At some point in our lives we will all feel enduring pain, whether it be from the smallest paper or the loss of of one’s greatest love. We all experience this signal from our bodies that something’s not right.

When you stub your foot, your foot is not at ease. When you lose a loved one, your heart and soul are at dis-ease. Pain is a healthy form of expression that signals you to make a change in order to bring your body back into easiness.

When it gets to a point where the initial pain is gone, it is no longer pain but suffering: longer, and deeper pain in your very cells and soul. It is no longer an automatic and subconscious reaction; instead, it’s a conscious and poisonous one. Pain is a healthy emotion to feel, but suffering is a choice that locks most people in a bubble of illusions suggesting that nothing will be alright again.

Suffering is created through your mind, and through the mini-movies you play in your head. Through these short films, you create a sense of threat to yourself that prevents you from letting go of that initial pain, and hold onto it as if you were experiencing it right in that moment.

You stub your foot, yet cradle it the rest of the day, reliving that pain of hitting it, and becoming angry at either yourself or others for helping assist that initial pain. You create more suffering for yourself than is ever needed in this lifetime, all because it’s easier to live in pain than in love.

An abrastract drawing with a line down the middle - dark themes to the left and light themes to the right with a detached smile.

Untitled by Kohei Akiba

I have three suggestions to help you live through self-compassion and love that can lessen your suffering:

1. Think about someone that loves you.

Consider that person and every aspect of them: how, when, where, why they love and care for you. Then allow those feelings of love to fill you up inside. This will trigger the part of your brain that deals with compassion, and begin to rewire the neurotransmitters that connect pain and suffering, allowing you to love and be compassionate.

2. Think about someone that you unconditionally and wholeheartedly love.

Let those feeling swells up inside you! You will automatically release oxytocin, which is associated with empathy, trust, and love. This is stopping the feelings of suffering!

You know that feeling when you think about someone you love, and a smile sweeps across your face? Recreate this sensation, and let it warm your heart and soul with light, and love. This will decrease pain, by raising your vibrational energy.

3. Turn your love and compassion inward.

This one is harder for beginners, but once you’ve mastered the first two techniques, begin to show compassion and love for yourself, understand the pain you’re going through, and speak to your soul by allowing yourself to feel happy and fulfilled again.

You might place your hand on your heart and feel the rhythm and beat of it, while saying a mantra that works for you, like: “I am happy and full of love,” or “I allow myself to feel the pain while still living through love.” Whatever resonates with you, feel every aspect of your mantra, and let those feelings swell up inside of you.

Through these three mindfulness practices, you can minimize your suffering, by not allowing it to control you.

Suffering is a choice, but so is deciding to end it!


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