Grow From Your Suffering
To find relief from suffering is to learn more about it. For most of us, learning about our suffering doesn’t feel like an opportunity for personal growth. It’s natural to move away from sources of pain and suffering and to move towards the sources of good feelings. However, if suffering is a persistent shadow, following and gaining your attention, making you work harder for peace, then it pays to stop and see what it’s about.
Stopping to look at suffering is not so easy. Usually we humans have developed many ways over years to manage and cope with our suffering. For some, coping skills can work as a permanent solution. For others, suffering takes over in more ways than one and brings a desire to find answers and get free.
One thing that makes suffering difficult to change is that it often lives largely beneath the surface, away from rational thought and therefore out of our direct control. To learn about suffering in order to change it, is to approach the problem indirectly. There are paths to follow in symptoms like negative thoughts, unregulated sleep, mistakes, patterns of behavior, as well as bodily sensations, complaints and issues.
To find relief and deeply change the nature of your suffering means to enter a process of growth and personal development as a person. In my experience, it requires another person who is personal and separate from the rest of your life. Having professional help on your side, to support, guide and help make sense of it is essential to gaining relief.
Reasons for Seeking Therapy
- You find yourself frequently, or more often, suffering.
- Your other efforts to gain relief or clarity feel incomplete.
- Something about your pain doesn’t make sense.
- You’d like to learn more about who you are.
Starting in Therapy
Psychotherapy helps people with a wide range of issues. No matter what it is that cause you pain right now, there is no wrong way or place to start talking about it in therapy. You may find one of the following issues speaks to you. Or, you may have your own unique way of naming your distress.
Strong, stressful feelings
Strong, stressful thoughts
Finding it difficult to say no
Ongoing stress having a relationship
Ongoing distress about a past or impending loss
People telling you to go to therapy
Painful or intrusive memories
Family of origin issues
Sexual difficulty without an organic cause