While healthy people do not pursue pain, each of us is bound to suffer along the way. A part of human experience, suffering is inevitable. And, pain of any kind (physical, emotional, social) has spiritual repercussions. Whether we are simply disturbed or shaken to the core; whether we are moved to tears or stirred into action, our own spirits are affected by the experience of suffering and pain. In turn, the spirit of those around us is then affected as well.
Depending upon our spiritual habits and posture, the pain we experience may help us become better people and neighbors, or it may steer us into bitterness. Suffering might thrust us into mistrust and doubt, or it may deepen our understanding and strengthen our resolve. While there is no way to predict the impact of pain or to bring about particular results in the face of suffering, we do have some say about where we allow it to take us.
Many of us go to great lengths to insulate ourselves from discomfort, only to become more vulnerable. If we are in the habit of evading or sedating the ordinary trials that come our way, the extraordinary difficulty or sorrow may become an unbearable burden – the insurmountable obstacle. A person’s ability to navigate the raging storm is, in some way, tied to their movement through the regular distractions and challenges that appear each day.
Those who are healthy strive to cultivate and maintain good spiritual habits as a part of the foundation beneath their daily routine.