Pain

“Too many people believe that everything must be pleasurable in life, which makes them constantly search for distractions and short-circuits the learning process. The pain is a kind of challenge your mind presents—will you learn how to focus and move past the boredom, or like a child will you succumb to the need for immediate pleasure and distraction?” ~ Robert Greene, Mastery

“Our most radical changes in perspective often happen at the tail end of our worst moments.  It’s only when we feel intense pain that we’re willing to look at our values and question why they seem to be failing us.  We need some sort of existential crisis to take an objective look at how we’ve been deriving meaning in our life, and then consider changing course.” ~ Mark Mason, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck

“If one comes across a person who has been shot by an arrow, one does not spend time wondering about where the arrow came from, or the caste of the individual who shot it, or analyzing what type of wood the shaft is made of, or the manner in which the arrowhead was fashioned.  Rather, one should focus on immediately pulling out the arrow.” ~ Shakyamuni, the Buddha, via The Art of Happiness

“There is one aspect to our experience of suffering that is of vital importance.  When you are aware of your pain and suffering, it helps you to develop your capacity for empathy, the capacity that allows you to relate to other people’s feelings and suffering.  This enhances your capacity for compassion towards others.  So as an aid in helping us connect with others, it can be seen as having value.” ~ Dalai Lama, The Art of Happiness

“The strong sensations we generally label as pain are inherent to living, but we can work with the quality of our experience in relation to these sensations.  If we resist them, our resistance actually intensifies the sensations and thus creates additional pain.  Another common way we intensify pain is by taking it personally and having a ‘why me?’ attitude.  If we can relax into pain as a natural part of living that everyone experiences, and let go of the self-judgment that something is wrong with me because I’m experiencing pain, we can alleviate our suffering to a large degree. Much of our suffering is caused by attachment to our sense of a separate autonomous ‘I’ that can somehow achieve a permanent state of affairs with only pleasure and no pain.” ~ Robert Kull, Solitude

 

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