« Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional » Chapitre 1 : suffering, dépression et inertia

« Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional »

Chapitre 1 : suffering, dépression et inertia

Pain is inevitable, but suffering is optional. If this Zen Buddhism quote is true, someone who suffers has to recognize it and, more important, wills to go out of this suffering… It is too often a very difficult, heavy and long process, which seems sometimes insuperable to the suffering person.

Contrary to what we could think, suffering is not an obvious fact, especially when it is about moral, psychic, psychological suffering. Knowing, becoming aware we suffer requests lots of courage, because it means we acknowledge that we have to change! Taking a new look at oneself, watching « objectively » our life, our situation, having the will to change what is wrong, can be extremely complicated, particularly in our modern world, in which we completely forgot that nothing is permanent, and where we cultivate attachment as the highlight of fulfilment.

In front of suffering, denial is easier: the unknown frightens more. Even if what we have does not suit us, we know it, we can be connected with it. The unknown is source of fears, which panic and paralyze. We often prefer to be content with this situation, even if it is miserable (miserable in the sense it makes us miserable because it does not suit us). After all, one keeps ceaselessly repeating to us that life is hard, unfair.

We learn to live in the anxiety of future; we oblige ourselves constantly to plan ahead. To such an extent that, due to dogmas and of rules, we grow and lives in fear, forgetting completely that our only certainty is the present moment with all it includes. Fear is too often what motivates our decisions and our life. Fear of diseases, fear of not making well, fear of disappointing, fear of being rejected, fear of death and unknown, sadly motivate a large number of our actions. Step by step, we thus learn to live with, we accommodate, and we even are persuaded that everything is fine. Well, my small personal suffering, compared to « real » social difficulties, I can them put aside… As a result, we suffer silently, intermittently, we act « as if », then, our friends and family start to suffer too.

From Buddhism as Âyurveda point of view, negative thoughts are considered as diseases, after which it is necessary to look, in the same way as a cold or a cancer. Negativity is at the origin of some blockings that, due to multiplying, prevent the vital energy from circulating normally in the body. Little by little, between physiological and psychological blockings, we go into depression. Causes are multiple, but mostly, it is activated by an emotional wound, which releases sufferings accumulated over time, remained hidden until then in the depths of the person.

Âyurveda appoints depression essentially as an imbalance and an increase of the KAPHA dosha. It translates into a slowness, a general « heaviness », as physical as moral. We feel among others fatigue, a sensation of lethargy, which renders more and more necessary inactivity. Lack of exercises and laziness settle down. The slightest change in our routine is perceived as a mountain higher than Himalaya; then, indifference or a strong irritation arises due to the slightest frustration, we have difficulty in making decision, and I do not speaking about more or less visible consequences on general health.

From the chakras point of view, depression is the sign that they are in imbalance, their harmony and their interactions are disrupted. When the lower triangle (three chakras under the chakra of the heart) is destabilized, it results from it, among others, digestion disorder, circulatory problems, sciatica, egoism, lacks of self confidence, anger, frustration, aggressiveness, jealousy, irritability, nightmares, lack of self-respect, difficulty establishing contact… As for the triangle formed by the superior chakras, we find the classic symptoms as shyness, fear of delivering personal opinions, lack of memory and concentration…

Our contemporary life, based on consumerism, materialism and capitalism, creates needs that are far from our real needs, contrary to what we are leaded to believe. This attachment, in objects as in persons, added to the illusion of durability, is the origin of the biggest pains we feel. The western world do not teach us any more to investigate, to question, to take our real responsibilities, and worst, to be ourselves. Rules and conventions are there to override all that. Since childhood, we are taken away from our true self, from our spiritual aspiration, to serve, not to develop ourselves neither to bloom. As a result, we ignore our most important needs and desires as human beings. Depression comes, because of the separation from our true self, our deepest aspiration. Then, follows a profound auto-depreciation, allied to a powerful sense of guilt.

Depression is a result of this alienation, this separation from what is authentic in us. The pain engenders, as any other pain, is inevitable, indeed, but never indestructible. Without even realize it, very often, we keep ourselves into suffering. No matter the reasons, guilt, incapability to face, too deep suffering, it is an absolute necessity to become aware that the pain is not inevitably long-lasting. As any other emotion, it is an energy. We have to learn how to use/transform it.

Learning how to use/transform it is long, often disheartening, but source of liberation and self-fulfilment, and all the more necessary since narcissistic wounds can have, for us and our circle, devastating consequences (see Chapter 2: Narcissistic Wounds and Intrusion)

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