Have you ever noticed our relationship with pain? Have you ever observed that we actually have an attitude towards pain, that is, we feel that we shouldn’t experience it at all.
The truth is that our attitude toward pain actually creates more pain than pain itself. Often when "painful" things happen, like we face an embarrassing situation, or someone is mean to us, it somehow just happens. It is only afterwards when we really get angry, when we reflect on that this really shouldn't have happened, when our blood boils over. Eckhart Tolle had a nice illustration about this problem in his "The Power of Now". He said that when ducks fight they afterwards flap their wings and let go of their negative energy that way. Afterwards they float peacefully in the water as if nothing has happened. We don't. We think about the injustice, and we relive the "painful" experience with even more intensity.
Challenges will always be part of our life. Pleasure and pain always go hand in hand. But when we have an attitude that we shouldn’t have challenges in our daily life, we will constantly feel bothered and annoyed. On the contrary, when we realize that challenges are part of life, we are more prepared to deal with whatever comes our way, and we may even get curious about what this challenge is about. With this curiosity, with this openness, we magically feel peaceful. And this challenge doesn’t bother us anymore. We are now ready to learn from the challenges and see what message life has in store for us.
Pleasure or pain, we stand ready to receive them either way. There is upside in pain, just as their is decay in pleasure. We just want to be part of the WAY.
By Christian and Su Zhen