The religion that I grew up with told us that suffering was a gift from God for women, and women suffering in silence allowed men their birthright to have joy. Suffering made women more beautiful because it kept them meek and humble, and at the feet and will of men.
The paradox of joy and suffering, in this system of belief was very extreme, and was encoded in me as a very young child. It is still a work in progress, as life is. Finding the courage to speak my truth in the presence of men can still unnerve me at times.
Suffering does’t make anyone more beautiful, but it can offer a lesson in self-growth that can lead to a more beautiful way of moving through life.
The paradox of joy and suffering are a part of the human experience, as paradoxes are. The paradox exists as a medium for growth. There is a difference between embracing the paradox of joy and suffering, and being a doormat for suffering in the belief that it is a spiritual practice.
Joy is a result of recognizing the suffering exists and healing it; first accepting its existence, and second, treating it with healthy applications of love, beginning with self-love.
The paradox of suffering and joy exists. How we work with the paradox is how we find joy. This is with our own suffering, as well as the suffering of others.
Recognizing the suffering, and wallowing in it without resolution, are two different things. There is also a difference between processing the suffering and spiritually bypassing it.
Without recognition and acceptance, then processing and resolution, the lesson that suffering has to offer isn’t learned. Ignoring, stuffing (staying sweet and silent) or bypassing the suffering halts to path to joy. Until the lesson is learned, the suffering will continue, and joy is held at bay.
The suffering will keep coming up, again and again, until it is resolved and the lesson is learned.
Choose to see the suffering as an opportunity for personal self-growth. This requires facing it with courage, refusing to stuff it and pretend it doesn’t exist and resolve it with love and fortitude.
Life is that ALL beings might have joy. Everyone suffers, it is part of the human experience on earth school. How long we suffer, and how we manage the suffering is a choice. We are all empowered with choice.