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Pain is not an option but suffering is.

We cannot stop by any means the impact of an external event – but we can control its impact.

The pain of LOSS – the expectation/desire of something lasting longer than it does – is inescapable. If we don’t feel pain for loss then we didn’t desire it enough to make an impact on us emotionally in the first place. But the length of time we spend in suffering once that initial impact is felt is totally up to us – it is a choice.

A lot of the time we feel it is necessary to mourn – not for ourselves and our progress but, mores do, that we owe it to that which we have lost to mount its loss. That by not mourning it means it wasn’t important to us. Sometimes we even revel in the mourning – we play sad songs when we’re sad, eat bad food when we’re feeling bad – to affirm that it’s OK that we’re not OK. Which is totally understandable and excusable… but it does elongate the time spent not feeling OK, or even worse, feeling better.

The Stoic’s say that it is necessary to ‘kick our own arse into gear’ some of the time – I like to reframe this as being re-inspired. I do this by motivating myself to ‘sit in the company of inspiration’ – of that, or who, inspires me. I have a tattoo to prove it; and, well, to remind me of how I’ve once experienced the greatest loss I’d ever felt & come through the other side more inspired than ever before.

To that I say:

Pain means something or someone meant something to you. Suffering simply means you haven’t figured out how to be your happiest & most fulfilled without what you have lost, that they would want that for you or that the rest of your life is going to be a greater achievement than that which you were only able to achieve when they were in your environment externally impacting you.
Pain is not an option but suffering is.

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