When we experience suffering we frequently look outward for solutions and remedies.  "If I try that diet I will be happy; if I buy that product people will like me."  Doctors are quick to prescribe medications, and friends are quick to offer advice.  Some forms of suffering can only be lessened by an honest and courageous look within.  This can be difficult given that, for many people, much energy has been expended in an attempt to avoid looking within out of fear and dread.


It is with the heart that one sees rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.

Antoine De Saint-Exupery

The Little Prince

It is clear that pain is inevitable in life, whether it be physical or mental pain.  It is our reaction to pain that is the source of much suffering.  For example, it is common for people to habitually react by blaming others or placing undo blame on themselves in unhelpful ways.  

An honest look within may reveal habitual ways you are reacting automatically to pain, and that reaction may be causing you suffering.  These reactions may have been used effectively when you were younger to simply survive a traumatic experience or environment.  However, it is no longer the case that you are that young child, and it is no longer necessary to react in the ways you did as a child with reactions such as being invisible and unnoticed, expecting to be abandoned by every meaningful relationship you encounter, or refusing to be vulnerable with anyone for fear of being hurt. 

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Our sorrows and wounds are healed only when we touch them with compassion.