You can choose to suffer or not.

A human being

No instinct tells him what he has to do, and no tradition tells him what he ought to do

says Viktor Frankl in his book: ‚Man’s Search for Meaning’.

And he continues that a human being

sometimes does not even know what he wishes to do. Instead, he either wishes to do what other people do (conformism) or he does what other people wish him to do (totalitarianism).

Now, of course, you as a human being, I as a human being, we have instincts. But we are not limited to our instincts. And of course we have tradition. You have a tradition, you come from a tradition. But you are not limited to your tradition. You actually have: Freedom.

You have the freedom to choose

beyond your instinct, beyond your tradition, beyond your programming, beyond your conditioning, beyond how you were treated as a child, beyond your personal history, and beyond your circumstances.

You always have freedom.

Now with freedom comes suffering. There is no suffering without freedom.

The freedom to choose brings about the suffering that we have to endure. But the beauty is, we can stop the suffering. You are always free. And you can choose to suffer, or not. I wish you the best of luck.

Showing 4 comments
  • anna karena wienands

    Love it!
    Not sure if I agree with ‘there’s no suffering without freedom’ though. There’s so much suffering in the world (e.g. women in Afghanistan) where freedom doesn’t play a role…

    • Karsten Küstner

      I agree with you, Anna. The statement “there is no suffering without freedom” can feel a little bit controversial. Your point is completely valid!
      Viktor Frank himself had clarified this point in this way: There is not always the freedom FROM (circumstances like a woman in Afghanistan might find herself in), but there is always a freedom TO (shape your reactions within the circumstances). So, there may be pain or injustice, however suffering means that we entered the realm of consciousness where we can start to choose our reactions. I hope this makes sense in any way. Let me know what part is resonating with you, and I can clarify further if needed. This is such an important point. So, thank you for giving me the opportunity to explore and elaborate a little further!

  • Rusty Cuave

    Thank you Karsten!

    This was very artistic and gentle. It hits home as I go about my day and the Critic inside my head has a non-stop commentary on what Others are doing or not doing to/for me and that seems to cause suffering.

    When I cancel those comments with affirmations such as: I am Love and I radiate Love to everyone, the sense of suffering disappears.

    You are so blessed my friend,

    • Karsten Küstner

      I am glad this hit home with you, Rusty! I can relate to the inner critic commenting. Once we are aware that it does not have to be US criticizing, but only a part within us, it gets easier.

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