Pain is part of life. There is no way around that.
Misery however, misery is not mandatory.
I've been to hell and back plenty of times and what I know to be true is that there is ONE true source of suffering:
Story is the culprit for misery.
Story is what we believe is happening to us right now, what we tell ourselves has happened to us in the past, and the wheel turning in the mind about what might be around the corner.
Painful life experiences yield painful stories, yes. But to be stuck and engulfed in the flames of a terrible story is, well- terrible and unnecessary. When we begin to understand that pain and suffering are not inextricably linked, a whole new world opens up.
Pain is a separate entity from suffering.
Suffering is pain, magnified.
Magnified of course by what? Our story.
Story is the meaning we give to life.
Story is the drama we narrate between our ears and around and around in our mind.
Story is the reason you've decided this happened to you.
Story is the reason you've declared someone doesn't like you.
Story is all made up.
Story is the source of power.
Story is YOUR source of power.
This is a radical notion. Simple but radical.
Life is simply a series of things that happen to us. Story is the meaning we give to it.