The Real Reason We Suffer

I've never been one to get it right the first time.

Two steps forward, one step back has always been my pattern. I set about on my own path, I learn, oh how I learn. And then just when I think I know what I'm doing, I find yet another confirmation that tells me I don't.

The old patterns were always so strong. Strong enough to keep me trying to do it again, showing “them” (as if they cared) that I could do it on my own without any help. Always insisting it was going to be different this time, and yet, alone with myself, I had to finally admit that I had no idea what I was doing.

When I look back on my life, at all those times when my suffering felt so intense, it wasn't in spite of those moments that real changes happened. It was actually because of them.

Everything I learned, everything I became, everything I could finally see, only came to be because I didn't get it right the first time.

Oh how much I would have given to have traded that suffering that I went through! “How can anything good come of this?” was always my cry.

And then kicking and screaming, fighting it all the way, I'd insist there had to be a better way. And there was! If I could only have had the eyes to see that way, I could have saved myself so much pain in the process.

But I've learned something about the “if only's”

I've learned something about the pain of regret.

It hurts me far more to look back at what I could have or should have done differently than it does to live in the present moment of what is.

It hurts me so much more to berate myself for what I couldn't see back then, what I couldn't prevent, what I didn't know, then to accept myself right where I am.

Human is the word for what we are.

Doing the best we can with what we know at the time.

Yes, it may have been easier if you could have known then what you know now. It may indeed have saved you from so much of that pain that seems so unnecessary when you look at it right now.

But what would you have missed? What lessons could only have been learned from the “going through”?

We may never know the inherent value of what we only know to call our pain, our suffering, our regrets. But there's something worth so much more than what we can ever see: what we've become.


Jane Garapick

Jane Garapick is a dating and relationship coach, and the founder of Getting to True Love, LLC.

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Melissa Rose Rothschild
Melissa Rose Rothschild

“Do your best and forget the rest.” Nice little saying to remember at times when we are being hard on ourselves.
Our own will run riot can cause so much unnecessary chaos. We live and hopefully learn that there is a better , softer way.
Thank you for sharing , Jane.

Darlene Rese
Darlene Rese

Great article. It serves no purpose to berate ourselves for something in the past but rather learn from it. Thank you for this article.

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