May 04, 2013

Blog Every Day in May | Day 4: Favorite Quote

“Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.”

― Haruki Murakami, What I Talk About When I Talk About Running

I'm not like some people in which I swear by living by certain quotes. I'm the type of person to read something, smile and move on. Nothing has ever really stuck in my mind as I assume for most people it does too...?

A few months ago I was reading Haruki Murakami's What I Talk About When I Talk About Running, which was a memoir of Murakami of when he runs. He's in fact a marathon runner and has been running in all different types of marathons. It was a nice change to have read, instead of his typical fiction novels (which btw are amazing!)

I do remember seeing this quote however and I think it resonates with me quite well—or well it should resonate with everyone.

Everyone goes through life and must experience pain. Like he said, it is inevitable—unavoidable. How we choose what to do with that pain (i.e. suffer) is up to us—it's optional. Some people choose to take that pain and make themselves suffer and never get past the hurt and whatever may be attached or perhaps use it against people for pity. We all have that option to get past it, move on and learn something from it. Pain comes in different forms, shapes and sizes and everyone deals with it in different ways. Some people experience a lot of pain or more pain than others.

If I remember correctly, this was Murakami's mantra he would recite to himself when he pushed himself to keep running those 26 mile marathons. Although his body was aching and experiencing pain, he chose to not suffer and let certain instances or mindsets get the best of him. He chose to push himself. We don't always have to play the victim in our pains and we should allow ourselves to suffer and let them burden us. Of course, this is never easy.

Personally, I have grown up with some pretty painful memories and experiences and they took a while to get over. Eventually after a while, I just learned to forget about them completely and move on because they were holding me back from many things. Choosing the let myself to not suffer anymore was a rewarding and relieving choice. Was it easy? No. We all want to cling to those painful things and use them for excuses to hold us back—whether we realize it or not—but most of the time, they're unnecessary and we all deserve better for ourselves. We need to set ourselves free from suffering and raise above all the negativity surrounding pain.


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