Examine Your Life
Question  24:  Must my life include suffering?

   MP :
If one lives long enough or has the mental capacity to comprehend aspects of one's existence, suffering would seem to be an innate aspect of existence in this world. Insofar as tests/challenges can make us stronger, perhaps someone can have a mindset that any setback or event which on some level causes pain is beneficial and thereby redefine "suffering" in such a way as to remove its negative connotations.

   Rabbi Schwartz :
Our lives are about change. We need always to be learning and growing. Applying what we learn means we have to adapt and upgrade our previous attitudes and approaches. We need to become the new, improved version of ourselves. Such change however, is uncomfortable. It means moving off familiar thought paths onto new, untraveled roads. This must cause us some discomfort, and even pain.

The other type of suffering we experience also concerns our need to change. This happens we refuse to learn new things and adapt. Then outer events squeeze and force us into rethinking life. We resist change, we stubbornly dig our heels in, and this brings us other pains.

Thus, to a greater or lesser degree, we always suffer. The only way to remove suffering then is to have the right attitude. We must ready ourselves to move on and embrace the next step of our all-important journey through this world. This will reduce our pain.

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