Philosophy Tuesday

May 26, 2015

This is a philosophical statement. It is intended to spark thinking and examining.

“Pain is mandatory. Suffering is Optional.”

— Haruki Murakami

There is a distinction in our lives, a line, between sadness, pain, frustration, or unhapiness… and suffering.

As humans going through life, we will have periods where we are sad, where there is pain, where we are unhappy, where we are unsure, where we feel alone, where we are frustrated… and that is OK.

We don’t like it! We don’t want it! But that is OK.


They need something else, something we add, to kick them over into suffering.

Suffering is a different level, a different experience, a different realm. It kicks us in the teeth, it sears, it wallows.

We all know suffering.

The pure emotions, however… like sadness… can instead in many ways be some of the most beautiful, honouring, and healing of human emotions.

When we are suffering, we no longer gain their powerful experiences and their healing abilities. We are miserable. We can become stuck and constrained.

If we let them be, when we can be present with and respect those emotions, we get a powerful experience of being alive.

When others in our lives can be present with and respect those emotions, we both get a powerful experience of being connected and of being alive.

We honour ourselves and we honour others.

We move through the emotions quickly, and we can emerge invigorated.


  1. […] letting it honour the one […]

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  6. […] in the same vein as the distinction between sadness and suffering, when we can be with and have our (often intense*)  feelings, emotions, and even thoughts, rather […]

  7. […] All sorts of things.  And that emotions and feelings come and go.  And that is great.  It is a delicious part of being human.  Without them we wouldn’t feel joy, delight, wonder, gratitude, happiness, […]

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