If you are depressed, beat down, numb, addicted, or carry a wound from the past, you are likely in touch with a great deal of suffering. Chances are you are searching for a way away from the suffering that you are carrying. Ironically, the counter intuitive approach is often the best way forward. Suffering, like all experiences, needs a place to be contained and released.
Many ask, is there a way to not suffer? Can therapy make me forget? Is there no way to prevent suffering? Unfortunately, suffering is part of the human condition, the duality of life, because without suffering there cannot be compassion. This does not mean that we need to suffer needlessly, or that there is no hope for those who suffer, or that we cannot create meaning and find healing through it. Therapy can help to reduce suffering. Sometimes, as a part of that process, we need to feel the emotions in order to work through them. If we can learn to create a satisfying relationship with all of our parts – both the positive and the negative, we can start to take control over our lives back. Then we can create some kind of meaning, and as Robert Bly said, “to turn our wound into a womb.” Let therapy be the place to start this journey of transformation, healing and empowerment.
Many ask, is there a way to not suffer? Can therapy make me forget?
The mammalian part of our brain is programmed to move towards good, and away from bad. This seems to be one of the origins of suffering. The buddhists have an idea, the separation of the two arrows. One arrow, the act itself of pain, we cannot escape. The second arrow, our reaction to it, our avoidance of pain and suffering, which creates then more suffering, we can learn to control. The stoics also had a word for this: Apatheia, which as Ryan Holiday shares, is not about feeling apathetic, but rather a way to not let the bad feelings of suffering affect us as much as they could.