People go through a lot of hardship in their lives, that’s a universal fact, yet most people don’t think that suffering is good, not at all.
But suffering is good for you, in more than one way.
Alright, so what do I really mean by “suffering”?
Divorce, the death of a loved one, illness, issues in the family, with job, with friends and the like, when you feel like you hit rock bottom (even if you didn’t) is when you “suffer”, and that’s the difference between feeling bad and suffering.
You don’t suffer until you feel broken, the psychology behind this is that the difference between suffering and feeling bad is the same the difference that’s between anxiety and depression and feeling anxious and depressed – one is traumatic, and the other is a purely situational.
But, unlike anxiety and depression, suffering is actually good for you in the long run, and for most people it’s a natural part of life (but more on that later)
I was suffering in the military, and you might have suffered from something else, but the facts stay the same for the most part – you can’t control your entire life, and bad things happen, and that’s more than okay.
Well, some of you might have an idea, but here are three of mine
You grow more reasonable and appreciative
When I was in the military I was stuck in my base for long periods of time at a time (Namely in boot camp), and it was terrible.
The life in that kind of place wasn’t the type of life I ever wanted for myself.
Yet when I came back home I started appreciating the small, almost unnoticeable things that most people wouldn’t pay any attention to – Proper showers, the ability to eat when I want and what I want, and overall just the time to take for myself and chill.
These things seemed so basic to me for most of my life, so I didn’t bother thinking about them too much.
That is, until I actually lost them for so long.
Seriously, just being around my parents was something that I took for granted.
Well, not anymore.
You will grow to cherish things, and people will notice this odd, new, kindness about you.
People commented on the way I started to act almost imminently, and it will be the same case for you, for sure.
When you lose someone you loved you will grow to appreciate those that you still have more, when you go through a difficult break up you will cherish any other relationship in a way unlike those who came before.
People around you will sense it, and will reward for it with their behavior – smile at someone and they will smile back at you.
Those aren’t just some pretty words, there is plenty of research to back that up too!
And that’s something worth noting in the very least.
When you hit rock bottom, you can only go up
Might sound a bit cliché, but bear with me.
This one is arguably the most important part of suffering.
Think about it for a second there, if you got nothing to lose, you can only go up from that point on.
J.K Rowling, the famous author, was fired from her job as a secretary before ever forming her book series, only writing them after being fired and only due to being fired in the first place.
Life gave her a kick and she was forced to act.
Walt Disney, the revolutionary animator, and story-teller, was a terrible employee, to say the least, and his first attempt at a studio was a failure and ended up in bankruptcy – If it wasn’t for him founding Disney he wouldn’t have a single worthwhile achievement to his name. Think about it.
Think about it.
Nelson Mandela, Former President of South Africa, spent 27 years in prison based on his acts of terrorism (or freedom-fighting, as you may call them).
Abraham Lincoln was a failure in business and got ran over in eight different elections before becoming president.
What all of these people have in common is the fact that they hit rock bottom, and climbed up.
Sure, you could wallow in self-pity and claim that your life sucks (and it really might be that terrible), or you can take yourself in your own two hands and strive to make a change.
You suffering isn’t an indictment of your worth, far from it.
The truth is this: Failing and hitting rock-bottom is something that practically everyone goes through at least once.
When you do, you literally got nothing to lose, because you hit rock-bottom and there’s no going down from here, so you focus all of your ability into making your situation better, because you can’t stand the way your life is right now.
I met with psychologists and psychiatrists more than once so they would clear me from service, I’ve been told by multiple specialists that my condition isn’t bad enough for me to be released out of the army.
I knew I needed help, but they weren’t just about to let me go.
It took 13 meetings with 5 supposed professionals over the course of 2 months for them to discharge me from my unit and outside the military, I fought tooth and nail over every single thing that I went through, if I didn’t there would have been absolutely no way that they would just let me go – If I listened to any person with a higher rank than mine I would be slaving away in the military to this day, I might not have been here at all.
I knew there was no other alternative, I had to burn all of my bridges and go all-in with everything I got.
And you should do that too.
People who rise above their circumstances are the ones that go on to do exceptional things, and those who just sit and whine… They are just wasting time and getting nothing to show for it besides their own misery and pain.
Suffering is a normal part of life: If you suffer – you are doing something right, not wrong
Some of you may say that this isn’t a comforting thought.
But it is, it’s also the truth too.
Everyone goes through bad things, be it a bad relationship, the death of a loved one or being fired from your job – It’s all perfectly mundane really.
And that is a good thing.
People draw strength from each other, we are social creatures, we stand strong when united.
If you go through some hardship you always can search your comfort and strength in other people, be it online or offline, you can always find someone who will listen to you and share their wisdom.
That’s also has a lot to do with appreciation until I realized I didn’t have that option at the time I truly believed that the ability to talk to people was a given state.
Back in my darker times the notion that people were going through the same terrible ordeals that I did gave me strength, it forced me to push through no matter how much I struggled – I didn’t want to come off as the first guy to give up.
If you go through a bad experience know that you don’t have to go through it alone, there’s always somewhere there for you.
Heck, I might be that someone if you choose to email me!
And that’s that
Nothing fancy really, some points for you to think about in your darkest hour.
Life has a tendency to kick us from behind when we need it most, so choose to look at everything you.
There isn’t a single thing in your life that you can look at as purely a bad thing.
Someone you cared for just died? You will learn to appreciate those that are still alive more.
A bad break-up? Good riddance! The fact that the break up was bad is enough evidence to say that your relationship wasn’t all that.
Lost your job? Find another one, or better yet, think about why you were fired and make sure to not make the same mistakes next time!
It really is just like that, suffering makes us human, without it we wouldn’t have a real measure to our good times and successes.
It all comes down to belief in the grand scheme of things, you are only suffering as much as you let yourself suffer. The important thing is to avoid anxiety and depression and live on, do the things that you love doing, and try to maintain your happiness knowing full-well that something bad will come eventually.
Life is like that, and accepting it is one is a sign of personal growth – and that’s another way of overcoming your anxiety and depression.
Alright, while you are meditating or what not, feel free to tell me this: What caused you to suffer? have you overcome that problem?
Make sure to tell me in the comments below, I read every single one of them, or email me at [email protected]