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Why Suffering?

Almost all of us have undergone suffering at some time of our lives. Now suppose I ask you, “Why did you choose to suffer? Was your suffering necessary?” You would surely find that an absurd question! ‘Does anyone choose to suffer?’ You would ask me. ‘Suffering just happens to us, that’s all. We can’t help it!’ But the truth is, suffering is a choice! For me to tell you that your suffering was unreal would be unfair and insensitive, because your suffering was real for you. You never gave yourself the option of not suffering! You didn’t even know you had the choice. Please understand: suffering is not a state of life; it is a state of mind. It is an internal event, not an external event! Whether you suffer or not in a particular situation depends entirely on how you choose to handle that situation. But now, look at the question consciously: When do you have suffering?