Your Suffering is Always Meaningful When It Turns Into Your Greatest Joy

And here’s why.

A life without suffering is just painful and devoid of meaning.

But it is literally impossible to have a life without suffering.

The pampered rich kid suffers from their spoils.

The impoverished single mom suffers to provide.

As long as we’re alive, suffering in some way is needed to survive. Life in this way is like a great video game. If a video game were too easy we would quickly lose interest. In the same way, life, when it’s too easy, becomes dreadfully monotonous.

The opposite of this monotony is meaningful action. Purposeful action. The type of action that starts with you springing up from bed in the morning.

Arising from suffering – a suffering which nowadays is more mental than physical – this action gives life meaning.

In this post, I will go into how negative emotions prompt us to act and how in this action we find temporary repose while still on this Earth. Then I will go into a theory I have: the more meaningful suffering we take on in this life, the more likely it is we leave this planet in the most peaceful, non-suffering state.

The Triple-A Impulse

Apathy → Anxiety → Action

Thankfully, the modern world breeds apathy.

Think of all the ways we can become hopeless consumers of the world.

  • Dead-end jobs we hate
  • Junk food and drugs to keep us satiated but always longing for the more that never comes
  • Endless distractions that foster hesitation over action

I say that we should be thankful the modern world breeds apathy because then our amazing bodies, psyches, and souls warn us with anxiety. And there is a lot of that going around.

Anxiety lingers when we cease to interpret its meaning and therefore not act on it.

The endless distractions that are cheap and easy definitely have something to do with that.

But this post isn’t for the distracted.

It’s for the type of people who keenly read their anxiety as a prompt toward action. Chronic anxiety is a sign that something has gone horribly wrong and you are responsible for bearing the suffering and change. Sow how do we change? Most people suffering deep down already know the answer.

The word phenomenon comes from the Greek meaning “to shine forth.” These flashes of insight and inspiration feel as if something in the world is pulling your attention. Search for it and you will find out what you need to do. Some need good therapists to bring this out of them. Some need magic mushrooms. Some may need to do absolutely nothing.

Whatever it is, you already know what to act on.

You just lack the awareness of it.

The Joy Impulse

The word enthusiasm means to be filled with the spirit of God.

What does every enthusiastic person have in common?

They have turned their suffering into meaningful action. You know they live purposefully when they go about their day with that extra pep to it. We all suffer, but these people acted on their anxiety.

I learned something from the great psychologist Jordan Peterson.

He says that the neurological system that fills us with joyful enthusiasm isn’t turned on by itself, it is turned on when in pursuit of something meaningful. And when we feel that we are making progress on that goal, we feel better.

This is evidence that meaningful action is the only antidote to our suffering.

However, the world likes to keep us lingering in apathy.

To reach the joy impulse, you have to act on your anxiety.

An Easy Departure from the World

The more you traverse from the triple-A impulse into the joy impulse (i.e. the more suffering you’re willing to take on and heal repeatedly), the more peaceful and easy your death will be.

At least that’s my theory.

There is some science to back it up.

The more joy we have in our life, the more our bodies are stewing with positive, feel-good chemicals. According to cell biologist, Bruce Lipton, these chemicals turn off the detrimental effects that stress imposes on our cells. Therefore as we make the transition from suffering to joy more habitual, the happier our cells will be.

We all know the deleterious effects stress has on our bodies.

So let’s not linger in and identify with the anxiety. Cause, after all, it is telling us something.

You are not anxiety, you have anxiety.

And you won’t have it anymore when you taste that sweet joy of a life well lived.

#sparkperception

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