It’s a temptation to hope that by working on ourselves and growing beyond old hurts we can avoid future sorrow and suffering. And, to some degree, this is true. Personal growth has it’s benefits…and lots of them.
However, it’s also true that as we go through life some degree of sorrow and suffering are important to keep us open-hearted. What do I mean? It’s often pain that causes us to grow to begin with, and pain that causes us to learn new lessons and have compassion on others. In some ways pain grounds us and keeps us “alive” in our spirits.
This is a tricky statement to make, of course. Too much sadness or pain can be paralyzing and is not to be sought after. In fact, pain is not to be sought after at all. It will happen by itself. And when it happens, it makes good sense to try to relieve it and feel better. But, nevertheless some degree of ongoing pain is important in our emotional diet.
The result is that we must learn how to live with the presence of sadness and difficulty in our lives, and not wait to “live” until after we get rid of them. Getting rid of sadness and sorrow won’t happen in this life without numbing ourselves, which carries its own constellation of problems.
May your pain in life be little, but enough.