"The most authentic thing about us is our capacity to create to overcome, to endure, to transform, to love, and to be greater than our suffering." Ben Okri
Suffering is never going to go away. Absurdities and atrocities are always going to happen. However, we have the power to decide how to face these negative events. As I write this I am at the North Shore on Lake Superior. Yesterday, we received the news that a tree fell in our backyard causing extensive damage, not just to our house but to our neighbor’s garage as well.
We often don’t have a choice in encountering negative events, but we do have a choice in the amount of suffering we must endure. We have a choice to substitute mindfulness for negative thinking. We can choose to use skills like conscious breathing to reduce stressors.
As I write this, my view is of Lake Superior. I hear the waves lapping gently against the shore. I see the boats on the horizon. I hear the birds. I am warmed by the sun. I have choice. I could stress about my tree that fell and caused significant damage, but instead I choose to enjoy the beauty of this world and be grateful that the damage to my home and my family wasn’t more severe. I am not ignoring my problems - I am addressing the fallen tree damage - I am simply choosing to reduce my suffering from this event.