Letting Go of our Suffering


"People have a hard time letting go of their suffering. Out of a fear of the unknown, they prefer suffering that is familiar." Thich Nhat Hanh

As I was reading through this quote that I found online, my initial thought was that it was completely untrue. I thought, why would someone willingly hold on to their suffering? But after some careful thought, I found it holds a lot of truth to it. I for one am guilty of it as well. There are a lot of cases were stepping out and letting go would make us vulnerable or susceptible to judgement and ridicule. It can be frightening. Not knowing how people would react or the consequences we might face. Having to expose our own suffering to the world when the outcomes are unknown is difficult. Sometimes it seems like it is easier just to hold on to it and keep it to ourselves. It prevents things from changing. It makes us feel, to some extent, comfortable. We think to ourselves, maybe if we just forget about it or keep it hidden in the past that it may just go away.

So, what is the right or wrong way to deal with it?

Well in my opinion, there is no right or wrong way. We all have our own truths, and our own way of dealing with things. But I think everything will eventually need to be dealt with at some point. That in order to grow or move forward, you will need to take that step out into the unknown. You need to release that extra weight that has been dragging you down.

The one realization that helped me in these situations is the idea that I have no control on other people's reaction or thoughts. The only thing I have control over is my own actions. We need to live our own lives according to our own truths. We can not live for other people or our perception on how other people will feel towards us. We need to be strong enough to believe in ourselves. Strong enough to move pass all those who do not believe in us, and those that would judge us and put us down. 

Life is full of its ups and down, and it is full of our mistakes. This is life. The sooner we can start to believe in ourselves, and the sooner we realize that we need to release our burdens, the quicker we can move on, grow, and prosper.

Marcus Tong2 Comments