There are two kinds of suffering. Suffering imposed on us by the outside and suffering created by ourselves. All we can do with suffering imposed by the outside is share it in the human family and show compassion, love and empathy for those who’ve been hurt. Suffering created by ourselves is referred to as neurotic suffering i.e. ‘inauthentic suffering’. At bottom, neurosis is a moral and ethical problem.
In other words symptoms like neurotic anxiety, depression, compulsions, ulcers, headaches etc. occur primarily because we try to manipulate others.
We do this in a variety of ways…i.e. blaming, withholding feelings and affection, using guilt to have others do our bidding, temper tantrums and primarily abusing power. The opposite of love is power, not hatred.
[ ... ]A calling may be postponed, avoided, or intermittently missed. It may also possess one completely. Eventually it wins out and makes its claim either in a soulful life, or if ignored, in meaninglessness, cynicism, hoarding, loneliness and alienation.
The dragon we must slay is no more that the monster of everyday expectations about how we “ought” to live our lives. If we realize this, we will be back in the world, but “no longer of it”. We will be able to interact with others without submitting to their definition of who we are supposed to be! This precious pearl that is one’s individual worth can only be found when we are willing to stand alone. By consciously choosing to pursue the inner journey, we transform impersonal fate into our own personal destiny.