Mental suffering is an illusion.
It is a creation of our own egotic minds, and we create it for ourselves because suffering and pain, in the absence of strong positive emotions, are required to help our egotic minds feel alive. Our ego needs a sense of continuity. There always has to be a next chapter in the book. Without a next chapter, the ego’s sense of a perpetuating inner self feels threatened.
The only way out of mental suffering and pain, is to let go of suffering and pain. Suffering and pain will not help me today to resolve whatever matters are the focus of my suffering and pain. Instead of letting these emotions and thoughts get in the way, it is better to let them go, so that I can think more clearly about the challenges I am faced with, and deal with challenges as and when they arise – not before, and not afterwards.
If someone else expresses mental suffering and pain, I am invited to respond with a stifling, smothering love. A love that wants to eradicate the source of the challenge on that person’s behalf, and ‘make it all better’. But it could be that this response says more about my own needs than it does about the compassion I have. A greater compassion would perhaps be one that recognises the suffering and pain, shared by all human beings, and hopes that the other can be free of it one day.
‘Being free’ of suffering and pain is not the same thing as eradicating one particular focal point of suffering and pain. It is being free of the need to feel suffering and pain.
The more I do not take up the invitation of others to ‘make it all better’ for them, the greater compassion I will have for others. They will be able to go deeper into their suffering and pain, and may get closer to the point when the illusory nature of mental pain and suffering is laid bare for them.
Mental suffering and pain is not the same thing as mental injury or illness. The latter describe a form of physical suffering, while the former describes a mental construct over which the individual has complete control. (See the post: There is no healing process)
Further reading: Eckhart Tolle – A New Earth