Physical and emotional pain are part of life. We will all suffer traumas, injuries and injustices to various degrees. Sorry. 

But life is also beautiful, fun and precious. Sometimes, especially in the midst of our struggles, it can be difficult to remember that. 

Both joy and pain come and go, like leaves floating by on a stream. What causes us suffering is having a preference — wishing things were different from how they are. 

In reality, pain is just information. Often that information is useful to tell us that something is wrong, to stop doing something, or do something differently. 

When we try to mask our pain, we allow the conditions that caused it to continue. When we try desperately to avoid our pain, we are fighting with reality and our aversion only adds to our suffering. 

Some people like a formula. I’d suggest this for your consideration:

Suffering = Pain x Aversion

In clinic, my job is to understand the causes of your pain and how to change things so the pain no longer arises. Meanwhile, the most useful thing you can do is to try to stop avoiding your pain but see it as useful information. To try to be present to it without aversion. Obviously this is easier said than done, and requires considerable practice. But soon you may find that even if the pain is still there, suffering becomes optional.