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Why We Suffer And What We Can Do To Minimize It

Written by: Dean Nelson, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight thin their area of expertise.

Executive Contributor Dean Nelson

To live on Earth is to suffer. Look around; suffering is ubiquitous. To whatever degree we suffer, micro or macro, we do everything we can to minimize it. Why we suffer can be controversial. A religious person will hold different beliefs about suffering than a non-religious person. If you ascribe suffering to a supernatural being, you will experience the world vastly different from someone who believes it to be nothing more than nature’s order.

sad woman touching rainy glass window

We will keep this conversation neutral. Whether you are religious or not, the remainder of this article will apply. We suffer for many reasons—death, illness, injury, in whatever way they may occur. We are not responsible for these most of the time. Accidents happen. We become ill. We die. Situations we cannot control involve theft, murder, rape, kidnapping, poisoning, shooting, and many others that cause suffering.

You’ll see it when you believe it

We also suffer from our beliefs. Besides suffering the pain of a stubbed toe on a concrete step under a ladder, you will suffer more if you believe it to be a curse upon you. If you believe you are living in constant danger of being mugged or if you are a germaphobe (I am germaphobic), you will suffer. If one believes something or someone will keep them from danger but fails to, it will cause suffering. What you believe alters your reality and possibly that of others. Those who share their delusional beliefs as facts affect others and spread their lies like a contagion causing widespread anguish. Those who disseminate positivity, kindness, and love with their beliefs likely engender events that move humanity forward agreeably.

Your beliefs will broadly impact your life in positive or negative ways. You have probably heard Wayne Dyer’s adage, “You’ll see it when you believe it.” (Follow the link to listen to the book for free on YouTube.) Once we realize the power beliefs hold for us, we should all aspire to review and change or update our belief systems. This is one of the healthiest things you can do for yourself.

Are you the judge?

When we judge others, they can suffer. When we judge ourselves, we can suffer. Labeling others or ourselves with negative tags can cause enormous distress. Most people are genuinely concerned about what others think of them. I have worked diligently on this issue, making every effort to ignore the ill will of others. It is liberating to relinquish the grasp of labeling and being judgmental.

Meanings matter

Probably the most significant way of suffering is the meaning we give events in our lives. Events have no inherent meaning; they merely occur. It is only ascribing meaning that makes the event favorable or adverse. If the meaning you give your stubbed toe beneath the ladder is that you will now have bad luck, you may be doomed. If you touch the handle of a gas pump and it means that you were abundantly exposed to cold or flu germs, you may experience a greater propensity for becoming ill. Often in life, we are inexplicably attracted to what we fear.

Conversely, suppose you break your leg, and the meaning you provide is that you should slow down and relax more. In that case, you may experience clarity and satisfaction in believing you were given advice from the universe or your intuition. Perhaps you also applied the meaning that it is an opportunity for you to complete an online course, write a book, or catch up on your reading during your downtime. This is a positive outlook!

The meanings you give events will impact your life in innumerable ways. Let’s recap with suggestions for positive change.

  • Realize the ways in which you suffer. Set aside some time to list them and contemplate new possibilities. What is the driving force behind these sufferings? Don’t be hard on yourself. You can’t control what others do. Understand that everyone suffers in one way or another.

  • Take inventory of your beliefs. Consider how profoundly they influence your life. Discover impeding beliefs and author new, positive, empowering beliefs to replace them.

  • Release the judgments you have of others. You do not know what others are going through and what they are honestly thinking. If applicable, forgive them and forget about it. The same goes for judgments of yourself. Be kind, be tolerant, be forgiving.

  • Be mindful of the meanings you give to events. Fully comprehend the power and significance of the meanings you attach. They will direct your future. Monitor your thoughts and open yourself to alternate possibilities when a substantial event occurs. Consider all the possible meanings and subscribe to the most favorable. Use your imagination and create an outcome that fulfills your needs.

No one wants to suffer needlessly. It is well worth the effort to eliminate even a little suffering. A little here and there adds up in the long run. Less suffering means more enjoyment of life, which is what living is all about.

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Dean Nelson Brainz Magazine

Dean Nelson, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Dean Nelson is the best-selling author of three self-help, inspirational, and motivational books with another in the works. For nearly 30 years, he spent countless hours attending seminars, researching, studying, and seeking out ways to awaken his potential. His sincerest passion and mission in life is to provide simple shortcuts to living a more fulfilled and inspired experience. For those who are struggling and ready for change, Nelson shares his enlightening psychology for those seeking an immediate positive transformation.



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