Adyashanti: Suffering is part of the perfection of life

Suffering is a part of the perfection of life.

—Adyashanti in Unity and Uniqueness

In what way is suffering part of the perfection of life?

It’s part of perfection in the way anything is. It happens within and as what I am. It’s an expression of the play of consciousness, or existence, or – if we want to use that label – the divine.

It’s also part of the perfection in the sense that it has a vital function in our life, or perhaps several vital functions.

Suffering invites us to examine our life and situation and make changes. This can lead us to be a better steward of our life, and it can lead us to shift our relationship to ourselves, our experiences, and the world in a way that creates less suffering. Finding a more kind relationship reduces suffering.

Suffering is also a sign that we believe a thought that’s not true. It’s an invitation to examine what we hold as true and find what’s more true for us. (No thought is true, and what’s more true is partly that the thought is not absolutely true, and that other stories about the same also have validity.) If we recognize it, suffering shows us the way to liberation.

Depending on how we relate to suffering, it can lead us to be a better steward of our life. It can help us shift our relationship to life from struggle to befriending. It can help us notice and examine our stressful beliefs. It can encourage us to find healing for emotional issues and trauma. It can humanize us and help us see we are all in it together – we are all in the same boat. It can help us mature. It can deepen our empathy with ourselves and others. It can motivate us to support life and be engaged in reducing the suffering in the world. It can be a motivation for exploring and finding what we are. (The deeper motivation is coming home, love and truth, and it’s ultimately a mystery.)

Even if we react to suffering in the reverse, in a way that deepens suffering and trauma for ourselves and others, that too is part of the perfection of life. It shows us what doesn’t work for us in the long term.

So, yes, suffering is part of the perfection of life – in more than one way.

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