Good morning and congratulations!
“Congratulations for what?” you might ask.
Congratulations, because today, from the moment you opened your eyes, you made a choice.
The choice was simple: to rise out of bed to take on another day.
Every day that we rise, we make the important decision to act. And I know just how hard this decision can feel at times.
When we are suffering whether it be due to sadness, loneliness, financial challenges, health issues, FOMO, stress, anxiety or something entirely different: the simple act of rising can be the bravest thing we do.
So, I am writing to congratulate and remind you that if you are suffering: YOU ARE NOT ALONE
One benefit of openly sharing my inner world with others, is that they often reciprocate by sharing theirs with me. So the more I share, the more I receive, and patterns begin to emerge.
Lately, I see a pattern: many of us are suffering.
This is not surprising. In the first of the Four Noble Truths, The Buddha himself states that “Suffering is Universal”. However, when we suffer, we often do so silently and thus believe we are alone.
Again, I’m writing to remind you that no matter how great or small, your suffering is real, it is not your fault, and you are not alone.
Life is simple, but simple can be hard
In the zeitgeist of the modern day health & wellness community, we are often reminded that happiness is a state of mind that is simple to attain.
We are taught that in order to break free from suffering we can choose some combination of the following: meditation, exercise, healthy eating, positive friends, gratitude, service to others, etc.
Easy? HELL NO!
We often conflate these two words, but simple does not mean easy. If we get this distinction wrong, it can make suffering even more painful.
We may ask, “Why can’t I put into practice these easy habits?”
This can lead to a spiral of self-shame as we continually “fail” to level up to some new lifestyle achievement. When we “fail”, we suffer more and the spiral continues.
There are plenty of prescriptions to end suffering out there and many of the standard recommendations do work, but that DOES NOT mean it is easy.
If you are suffering, you are not alone
Ending suffering is simple, but that does not mean it is easy, and finally:
You are brave for living; your suffering is real and not to be trivialized; you are strong for trying, failing, and for rising each day to do it all over again.