Our suffering is often exacerbated by our relationship to it and to life. Our minds and thoughts, in fighting against what is here now, create suffering within us.

I think people often turn to spiritual paths as a means to end suffering, with the expectation that circumstances which can breed suffering will cease to exist. The spiritual path can help point us to a more conscious, empowered, means to move through the suffering where we have better tools in our pack to meet it. But it will not magically make suffering disappear. Life will still happen. You will still be human. Circumstances will arise.Our tendency is to fight against suffering, pushing it away, when we are confronted with the experience. Rather than meeting the initial occurrence, we fight and this fight compounds the suffering. This fight often leads are minds to create more hypothetical situations around the instance, making us go even more crazy. A great deal of our suffering lies in this fight.

If we are to meet a troublesome experience squarely, look at it with as much equanimity as we can muster at the time, we can forgo a lot of the unnecessary unease. This will also lead to us dealing with the actual situation more soundly and effectively. I know that it can be hard have equanimity when presented with trying situations, but this is a practice. Practice mindfulness and presence in the easy times, and it will be easier to have it when you need it most.

Originally published at www.scottgoolsby.com.