We Choose to Suffer


Life always waits for some crisis to occur before revealing itself at its most brilliant. ~Paulo Coelho


This week’s quote reminds us that pain and suffering can be our greatest teacher, but I would also like to revise Mr. Coelho’s words a bit for our purposes. Instead of ascribing action to the notion of ‘life,’ I would rather say, We always wait for some crisis before recognizing that life is brilliant and worth living. 

That is our choice. We unconsciously go about our lives repeating the same detrimental patterns over and over again. Why? Because at some point in our existence we chose it. It wasn’t a conscious choice, but a choice nonetheless. Our brain became accustomed to the negative stimuli and adapted accordingly.

Then, only when a relatively massive trauma occurs do we realize that there is something amiss. Is this inevitable? To some extent, I think. Again, our suffering teaches us if we allow it. We must first experience some pain in order to see and subsequently comprehend how we relate to it – what are the patterns? What is the source? Only then do we have a chance to curb future suffering. Only then do we gain the awareness needed to lead a life of our choosing.

An announcement

It is with a mixture of grief and excitement I announce that I will be taking a step back from Urban Spiritual. I have realized that I simply do not have enough hours in my day or week to continue writing at the level and frequency to which I’ve become accustomed. The sole reason for this is my Graduate Studies in Music (which is going really well).

That said, I will continue to write, but only two posts per week. There will be the main post on either Tuesdays or Wednesdays, and the quote of the week post on Saturdays. Again, I’d like to add that if there are any readers who would like to contribute their thoughts or complete articles, please do not hesitate to contact me at mail@urbanspiritual.org

Wishing you the courage to embrace your suffering with compassion.

By Terence Stone

If you enjoyed this article and want to get involved, please subscribe to the blog, like us on facebook, and  follow us on twitter or Google+.

Never miss a post!
Join the Urban Spiritual list for a weekly kōan straight to your inbox.

Chief Editor and Founder of Urban Spiritual, I’m a classically trained singer and actor living in New York City, who has performed in the U.S. and Europe. I’m also a writer, traveller, meditator, arts-lover, and well-being enthusiast.

Facebook Twitter Google+