Suffering & Compassion

When another person makes you suffer, it is because he suffers deeply within himself, and his suffering is spilling over. He does not need punishment; he needs help. That's the message he is sending. ~ Thich Nhat Hahn


yep. I love this guy.

Well, I try to love everybody. But I love the way Thich Nhat Hanh thinks and speaks and acts, and that makes loving easier.

Most of what you perceive other people are doing to you isn’t about you. It’s about them. Their pain. Their suffering.

In that sense, while other people can create conditions painful for you, suffering is something we cause in ourselves.

The desire to punish is an attachment between my own suffering and the person I believe to be causing it. When I can step out of the suffering I’m causing myself in the sphere of someone else’s pain and suffering, I can detach myself from the emotional desire to reflect that suffering back to its perceived source. Detached from this desire, it becomes easier to access my compassion, and act on it. It becomes easier to help someone else when I no longer feel the need to defend or protect myself. I am detached from the mud of suffering.

Pain is certain; suffering is optional

Suffering is optional

How can one person stuck in the mud pull out another also stuck in the mud?
~ Buddha

3 Responses to “Suffering & Compassion”

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  1. It is hard to love everyone. I shared this on pinterest.

    • Peter says:

      Thank you for the Pinterest share, Steve.

      Yes, it is hard to love everyone. Until it isn’t. I am getting there, one person at a time.

      Every time I remind myself to love another ‘difficult’ person, I make it easier for myself to do it the next time. Why? Because each time I succeed I learn it really doesn’t cost me anything to transform my negative feeling into love. And there are always benefits, for me, and often for the person I learn to love.

    • Peter says:

      Oh, and nicely done blog you have there, Steve. 🙂

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