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Facing Suffering

It is important to courageously face our problems head-on to probe the depth and nature of the problem to eventually deal with it

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No one wants suffering. Our usual attitude to suffering is that of intolerance. However, if we are not able to deal with it, it can lead to severe depression. It can affect our mental state, relationships and career.

Santosh’s 4 year old son Gopal was not well since long time. Gopal’s parents went to the doctor, and got all the reports which doctor had prescribed. Surprisingly all his reports were normal.

Doctor suggested that Gopal should be ‘admitted’ to the hospital for further investigation. Gopal’s mother – Savitri, was too scared to admit Gopal in the hospital. She constantly explained to herself that everything is fine, and Gopal will be alright. However, one day, emergency came, and they had to admit Gopal in the hospital. Lot of tests happened in the hospital. Savitri was extremely overwhelmed, emotional and disturbed. It was even difficult for her to breathe due to stress. In the hospital, she always said that - in any case – in ANY case – nothing should happen to Gopal’s life. Unfortunately, Gopal expired….

It was a big shock to Savitri to see the life-less body of her son. Santosh also was disturbed, but he had to take care of his wife and do the paperwork. Santosh got engrossed in work because - life has to continue.

After around one year, Santosh went into clinical depression.

Courageously confronting suffering completely

Immersing ourselves in beliefs and distractions to avoid thinking about the problem may avoid the pain temporarily. But like an untreated disease, the problem invariably festers. It is important to courageously face our problems head-on to probe the depth and nature of the problem to eventually deal with it.

Thought it is not easy and it may take some time, it is psychologically important to fully accept and confront the inevitable loss. Unfortunately, ultimately, death is inevitable. Every human has to eventually face old age and death. If we are really aware of this fact, we will have a greater tolerance to endure suffering. This insight cannot eliminate suffering that comes from loss, but it may reduce the suffering that comes from struggling against this sad fact of life. (Dalai Lama).

Our life and life of our loved ones is also not permanent. So, be kind, do your duties and responsibilities, forgive, and spend quality time with your loved ones. Don’t leave any scope to feel guilty when it’s too late.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.

Swapnil Pande

The author is a learning & development professional with the focus on behavior competency development. He has trained around 10, 000 professionals and 20,000 students. He is a keen student of His Holiness the Dalai Lama's teachings and is invited to give sessions on managing emotions, value and benefits of compassion, and mindfulness.

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