Is suffering necessary?

Mackay, Queensland, Australia.

Today I drove from Tannum Sands to Mackay, where I am now. I decided to treat myself on some luxury so I decided to go to an Italian restaurant. This turned out to be a bit more of a challenge than expected. The restaurant I walked in refused me for wearing a singlet. For a second I was flabbergasted. Then I thought to get back at them by getting my most fashionable combination out of my backpack. But they still gave me a table next to the kitchen, where I just had my beer and pizza with shrimps and avocado (yes, I know: beer and pizza. It is a very fancy restaurant). I have to give it to them: the shrimps were really fresh.

The drive was beautiful. I wish I had the words to describe the ever changing and vast landscapes. I regret that I have not seen any kangaroos. Live ones, that is. My first kangaroos of this morning were all dead. Killed by traffic. I am afraid that kangaroos are not so smart because by now I have seen many corpses. I feel sorry for them. But still, the drive was beautiful.

I had an insight today, and I hope it proves to be true and lasting. I was aware of the big difference between today and yesterday. Yesterday the doubt came up: what the hell am I doing in Australia? It culminated into a moment of feeling sad, lonely and lost. Today I was just happily cruising around. And what I realized was: I don’t regret the sadness of yesterday. I am not happy because it is over, I am happy because I became acquainted with it. It was really a kind of a light-bulb-flicking-on-in-my-head moment. I was feeling quite good and reflecting on yesterday, asking myself questions like “jeez dude, did you really have to post a video of yourself while crying?” and I realized that I feel better because of that episode. It was absolutely necessary: something surfaced and because it could surface something could shift. Space was created. That would mean that every time I feel I go through the same stuff I am actually not going through the same stuff but similar but different stuff. And every time I come out a bit cleaner than before.

Yesterday I questioned why I would just drive from town to town to just eat, sleep, walk the beach and buy a cup of coffee. What is the purpose of that? Today I realized that that is exactly the purpose: to drive around randomly and allow myself to enjoy that.

In my mind I went back to all kinds of terrible moments in my life: betrayal, heartbreak, loss, alienation. And I realized I would not have liked to have missed them. They allowed me to grow. But I can also remember that when I am in the middle of them I hate them. What’s up with that?

What I think I am seeing is that we really need the sadness. I feel a bit apprehensive about saying that because I feel some fear of asking for trouble. Let sleeping dogs lie, that stuff. But perhaps it is the other way around: to let the dogs out, one by one. It is the dormant sadness that limits us, when it is awakened and released we grow (and become softer).

Three women in my life broke my heart, one of them more than once. I would not be here in Australia if not for that heartbreak. Basic Goodness would not exist and I would not have become a coach, trainer and writer. I am truly grateful for that.

Is there pain that is truly not beneficial to the development of a human being? Or can all pain be beneficial if healed properly? Would a woman who healed from being raped in a profound way, who came out stronger, wiser and more compassionate, feel she needed the rape? Or would she still wish it had never happened?

I feel puzzled. In my chest I feel as if I hit on something profound but I can’t seem to really put it into words. I am not convinced about what surfaces on the screen. Please shine your light on this if you feel you can.


  1. Pausha says

    Sadness is not what you are Dear friend. Sadness, suffering, pain is when you forget what you are. It is necessary to alow it to open and leave, so that you can come back to yourself – to the joy, love and bliss of being you. It is necessary to reclaim the places in you that are collapsed and held by trauma, so that you can be present as you completely.

    But do not identify with what you are flushing down the toilet, as my teacher used to say.

  2. Niki says

    I believe that there is a reason for everything. So when you get hurt, things don’t go the way you’d like, there is nothing wrong in feeling the pain if you feel the pain. We are human and pain and sadness are just as much part if this human experience as joy. Sure, we may feel sadness due to some story that we are identifying with but there is nothing wrong with that. In order to get out of the pain sometimes you have to change the story from the sad/defeated one to a victorious one in order to move on. And even if we decide that the pain is due to the story and we are not the story, even THAT belief is a story we choose to help ourselves get out of the pain. I don’t think we can surpass pain as a human, we have to accept it and allow it to change us, and if we pay attention to the messages from the universe, it will change us for the better. I was just reading this line in “The Alchemist” that i think applies: “Be aware of the place where you are brought to tears. That’s where I (your heart) am, and that’s where your treasure is.” I agree with you that it is the unhealed pain that brings more suffering than necessary.

  3. says

    Thank you, guys! It is nice to hear the different perspectives.

    Pausha, I will cherish your teacher’s quote: to not identify with what we flush down the toilet. Love it!

  4. Suri says

    I think that what you are saying actually proves that there is no place of eternal happiness and joy . I think life is and will always be an emotional rollercoaster. I dont think there is a default emotional state where everything is perfect and calm. Change is constant not only in the natural world but in our minds too.

  5. John A says

    You have chosen to walk this path in a foreign land. The sadness you feel could be lonliness from what you are weening yourself from what you know, that is your life previous to today.
    That disengagement from your normal life patterns could be upsetting for some, as we are creatures of habit basically.
    Try to embrace the moment for what it is. The challenge you face is to arrive home thinking you could have done more with your time away. Dont swim against the tide, soak it all up because tommorow you could be hit by a bus!

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