Will We Suffer as Much as We Fear the Suffering?
Learning that the fear of suffering is frequently worse than the suffering is huge.
Probably my favorite book of all time is Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist. It’s one of a very small handful of books I’ve reread multiple times — or relistened to (the audiobook is read brilliantly by Jeremy Irons).
Though it’s a work of fiction, there are numerous lessons about life, the Universe, and everything applicable to us all in the here and now. Most importantly — choosing to live our lives to the fullest and up to as much of our potential and possibilities as possible. Or not.
One quote that has stuck with me — and that I’ve shared multiple times — is this:
“Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself.”
We live in a fear-based society. It’s become so permeated in everything we do that we barely recognize it for what it is. That’s by design. It seems so real that we all believe it’s how things have always been.
Fear has always been a weapon for the powerful, the dominant, and the controlling. And the greatest fear wielded against us is that of suffering.
If we lack ‘x’, we will suffer. Then, if we haven’t enough of ‘y’, we will suffer. Without ‘z’, suffering will be horrific. Just about every negative political speech takes precisely this tone.
Will we suffer as much as we fear the suffering? In my experience — no. As the above quote postulates — the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself.
When we recognize and acknowledge this — we empower ourselves to work with it to the betterment of our lives and our overall health, wellness, and wellbeing.
Suffering is a great divider
Politicians and socio-economists love to drone on about the “haves” and the “have-nots”. The haves don’t suffer because they have plenty and more than enough. The have-nots, on the other hand, suffer constantly because of lack, scarcity, and insufficiency.
That’s the message. But is it true? I don’t believe so.