We see suffering as many things in our life.
We see it as heartbreak and loss. We experience it as pain and regret. We feel it as we age, our bodies failing us in ways we never thought they would.
Suffering takes many forms in our life, appearing as many different faces and in all places. It goes by many names, but there is one that we seldom acknowledge.
There is a truth to our suffering, something that we can learn from it if we are willing. To learn the truth of suffering we must be honest with ourselves and our situation.
Our ego is wrapped up in our own suffering and the stories that we tell about ourselves. We perpetuate our suffering because it is part of our identity, its part of who we are. Acknowledging our suffering requires that we set aside the story of ego, the story of how important we are or how great our life is. It requires that we look truly at all the pain and ugliness, that we see our true face free from the mask of deceit.
Which is painful.
The truth of our suffering is all around us, it pervades our life. We fail to acknowledge its truth because it makes us feel weak and vulnerable. The ego hates to feel weak and vulnerable. In response to this our ego throws up walls and barriers, acts out in passion and aggression to try to gain control of the world around it. We build ourselves up in an attempt to overthrow our own suffering, all the while sowing seeds for a never ending harvest.
The first step that we take on the path is one of truth. Honesty to ourselves. We are suffering. I am suffering. When we take this step, we are treading the path of the noble ones who have went before us.
Acknowledging our own suffering, we can start to see the suffering of those all around us. We see their suffering reflected in our own life, we see how our story is shared with theirs. The truth of suffering grants us the gift of gratefulness.
Suffering that gives rise to gratefulness is a gift, a gift that we can learn to share.