The first Free Advice Friday video response is here! Following is a synopsis of my answer to the question on whether or not it’s ok to feel sorry for yourself but watch the video for my complete answer to this question and how I explain the four steps of pains’ journey.
“Pain is inevitable, suffering is a choice”. This is one of my favorite quotes by an unknown source and popularized by modern psychology. However, I noticed that people would often express defensiveness around the choice part and insist their suffering was something outside of their control. Of course, I believe the point of the quote is that suffering is the exact point at which you do have choice over whether or not to indulge in your pain. Even so, I decided that the quote could use a kinder, more empathetic feel and put my own spin on it to be “Honor your pain and combat your suffering”. This empowers the receiver of the quote to see their suffering as an outside entity that they have the ability to fight against and keep at bay, while still acknowledging the importance and inescapable reality of experiencing ones own pain. I also think it takes the sting out of those times when you let your guard down and allow suffering to knock at the door and stay a while, because you are human. If you have moments of self-pity are you necessarily choosing to suffer or is that a way of honoring your pain? Watch the video to see how I answer this important question.
Also, here is a link to the interview by Augusten Burroughs that I mention in the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E7A7YggvSF4
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