We have a choice to choose our suffering, struggle and pain. In life there are experiences we cannot escape such as pleasure and pain, honor and insult, acceptance and rejection because they are part of daily reality. The secret to living a well grounded life is not trying to avoid suffering, pain and struggle which are inevitable, but living a life where you consciously choose what and how you want to suffer, where your struggle should be found and what your pain should be.
Sacrifices have to be made where there is a choice of living consciously or living not giving a hoot. A chain smoker does not give a hoot in making an unconscious decision to suffer, he may not know the full consequences of his action to toxify his body until he begins to experience health troubles and regret his poor decision. The difference between conscious and unconscious choices of suffering is the regret, those that make a conscious decision to what they want to suffer to get where they want have no regrets.
The talented musician that gave up formal education to pursue a music career chooses his own kind of suffering. The misunderstanding, the being tagged a failure, the long periods of practice under the constant pressure of not even making it. A young adult who decides to become a doctor chooses his own form of struggle. The demanding classes, the endless hours of study, the difficult examinations to get through with notable grades; both feel no regret because it is a conscious decision.
When we are not conscious of our actions and the consequences_ we create suffering, struggle and pain which overwhelm us and sometimes even ruin our lives. Since we cannot avoid suffering, struggle and pain we can choose how we want to experience them. Raising up decent children is a form of struggle but a worthwhile struggle, spending all night in a bar drinking alcohol is a form of suffering but a less productive type. Spending hard earned money on gamble and experiencing daily loss is a form of pain but a worthless pain.
Everything in life is a mix of positive and negative, when you are attached to positive experiences you then find it increasingly difficult to face the negative. All pleasures have to be balanced with pain, life cannot be without pain, suffering and struggle these factors are what forces us to evolve, to leave our comfort zones. When we try to deny suffering, pain, struggle we cease to grow and meet with increasing difficulties. We all have the choice to choose our struggle, suffering and pain thereby experiencing their opposites in a balanced way.
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