But suffering is an emotional response to pain. It is within our range of choice as to how we will approach the inevitable. If we have a broken leg, it will hurt. But if we personalize it with fearful questions such as, “Why me?” “Just my luck!” “Life sucks every day for me,” and “How long will it take before I get my life back?”, then we are entering into the endless world of suffering. Fear is the main miserable component of pain.
Enlightened beings’ approach is fearless, for they already know they are eternal beings. Life on the physical plane has both pleasure and pain and much is beyond our control. We cannot expect physical life to be one endless round of ecstasy. Pain can be a great launching point into spiritual awareness. It can be a blessing that lets us know some things must be changed and growth needs to occur to allow for more free-flowing happiness.
Enlightened people take the suffering out of the pain by accepting what is at this moment. They embrace this moment, whatever it contains, and say, “Bring it on. I know I can handle this because I am in touch with something higher than my fearful ego-mind. I know that I am eternal Soul and not this body that changes, decays, and dies.” Pain is not the end of the world for enlightened beings, because they know the world is impermanent anyway.
What happens to pain, when approached with this attitude, is that it becomes more of a heightened sensation, rather than an anxiety-causing difficulty. It happened to me during childbirth. While the women around me were wailing and screaming, I saw that what I was going through was something millions of women before me had undergone and was nothing personal to me. It was Nature working through me. I relaxed into it and did not resist. And the pain was transformed into something else—a very powerful sensation, with no fear attached—with powerfully beautiful results.
Suffering adds further pain to the pain. Resisting causes further trauma. It is easier to take the enlightened approach, which again, is to accept what is and not fight it. Rather, know that Life is perfectly put-together and all is well in the world of the Spirit.