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Why Do We Suffer? Why It Happens to You All the Time

Cracked path in sunlight symbolizing overcoming suffering.

Life, with all its ups and downs, often presents us with unavoidable suffering. But what if we told you that suffering, in its own unique way, carries a profound meaning? What if enduring pain could actually lead to personal growth and resilience?

Suffer Has Its Meaning: Why Must We Suffer?

Suffering can be seen from two distinct perspectives: avoidable and unavoidable.

Unavoidable Suffering

Unavoidable suffering carries a deeper meaning. It's the pain that life gives us, without asking for our consent. This type of suffering can lead to personal transformation, People often try to avoid pain, but each time they do so, they miss the opportunity to grow. Our concern shouldn't be about how painful an experience is; instead, our concern should be whether there's meaning after going through suffering.

For example, Ed Roberts, a champion of the disability rights movement. After being paralyzed from the neck down at 14, he turned his personal adversity into a powerful force for change. He graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, and co-founded the Center for Independent Living (CIL). His journey underscores the meaningful transformation that can emerge from unavoidable suffering.

Avoidable Suffering

Avoidable suffering, on the other hand, lacks inherent meaning. Deliberately plunging into avoidable pain doesn't offer any fruitful challenge. Instead, it becomes a futile struggle, devoid of growth or enlightenment.

Stop Asking Why It Always Happens to Me

It's not just you who experiences suffering, because it is an unavoidable part of life. Perhaps, you find yourself in a more challenging situation than others. So, what you do is complain and feel sorry for yourself? Life is presenting you with a unique challenge to unveil your potential, and you must respond through your actions. Once again, as we navigate through suffering, our focus shouldn't be on avoiding pain, but rather on finding meaning after enduring it.

Suffering as a Catalyst for Growth

Growth and suffering often go hand in hand. Successful individuals extract valuable lessons from their suffering, using it as a stepping stone towards personal and professional development. Thus, instead of shunning adversity, we should embrace it as an opportunity for growth.

God's Delay is not God's Denial

Sometimes, when results don't appear promptly, it's easy to misconstrue it as a denial. However, God's delay is not God's denial. In such times, we need persistence and flexibility to overcome obstacles and achieve desired outcomes.

Building Resilience through Adversity

Each hurdle we face and overcome strengthens our resilience, enabling us to bounce back stronger from future adversities. Adversity comes up continuously because that's the task we need to take, and life doesn't throw challenges at us that we cannot overcome; we inherently possess the power to triumph over them.

Reflecting on Past Suffering: What If You Didn't Suffer

What did you learn or gain from your previous sufferings? If your initial response is 'No, there's nothing,' then ask a different question: 'What did you learn or gain from previous sufferings, if you had to?' The answer might come up like 'It made me stronger for --,' 'It taught me the importance of --,' or 'Now I'm capable of --.' How would your life have been if you hadn't suffered during that time?

Looking back, the suffering I went through somehow made me stronger and shaped my destiny to where I am now. Without those experiences, my life would have been less valuable.

Shifting Mindsets: From Problem to Solution

Do you sabotage yourself or worry about situations when you face tragedy? We tend to focus on the problem itself rather than the solution. We should focus on 100% solution and 0% problem. Every time you dwell on negative thoughts, snap out unresourceful thoughts and focus on how to solve that problem. This sounds simple but it's actually hard.

For the next ten days, practice this shift. Whenever you catch yourself stuck in negative thoughts, consciously refocus on potential solutions. Over time, this practice can help you transition from a problem-focused to a solution-oriented mindset.


Suffering, in its many forms, is an inevitable part of life. However, by shifting our perspectives and embracing the lessons inherent in adversity, we can use our suffering as a catalyst for personal growth and resilience. Remember, it's not the absence of suffering that defines us, but our ability to derive meaning from it.

Also, read this to understand more about the purpose of life. Man's meaning for life: Why we suffer? How to find purpose


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