#82 Suffering = Pain x Resistance

An Important Lesson on How to Reduce Suffering

In her great book Self-Compassion, Kristin Neff shares a little equation that can help us reduce our suffering.

It goes like this:

Suffering = Pain x Resistance.

Here’s what we need to know:

Pain, as the Dalai Lama tells us, is inevitable.

Suffering, on the other hand, is optional.

The trick is to keep the pain “clean” so we don’t suffer unnecessarily.

And the key to doing that is to reduce our RESISTANCE to the pain we’re experiencing.

This is the essence of Byron Katie’s Loving What Is and the Stoic philosophers “Art of Acquiescence.”

We need to remember the very important fact that we LOSE when we argue with reality. But, only EVERY (!) SINGLE (!!) TIME!!!

Whatever is, IS.

We want to accept the facts of our current reality—no matter how much we may dislike them. Then… By eliminating our resistance, we’ve eliminated our unnecessary suffering and we’re in a MUCH better place to take effective action.

Today’s +1: Are you resisting anything painful in your life and thereby increasing your level of suffering?

How can you love what is just a little more today?

One way to do that is to simply label whatever emotion you’re feeling and then get to work on your relentless solution focus—finding something you can do to make the situation just a little bit better—moving from victim to creator!

Remember: Reduce your Resistance to the Pain and you reduce your Suffering.