Our capacity to recognise the suffering of others is directly proportional to our capacity to recognise our own suffering. And, your capacity to recognise your suffering depends on how open you are to yourself. How open you are to the totality of your felt experience, rather than a very narrow version of it.
Too much language
Language is a powerful tool, one that is integral to our daily lives. It has allowed us to advance as a species and cooperate on a grand scale. Yet, an over-reliance on language for making sense of things can make us forget the wider experience of self. The sensations in our bodies that are an important source of information about our well-being. Some things cannot be fully captured with the use of words (or other symbols)!
So, the more we limit our experience of ourselves to thoughts alone, the more we fail to see how we might actually be in pain. How we might be creating unnecessary mental suffering for ourselves. Just going through the motions in denial of how we truly feel. And, this failure to see our own pain reduces our capacity to see the pain of others.
You keep yourself stuck
We can so often keep ourselves stuck in a place of inner tension and turmoil. Caught-up in constant rumination over what could have been or what will be. We might be so fixated on our thoughts of what should and shouldn’t be that we lose all sense of what IS.
What is your experience of yourself now? What is your inner state both in your mind and in your body? Ignoring what is beneath the surface of your thoughts only gives these feelings power over you.
Recognise your suffering
Opening up to yourself is the path of release. It is an on-going self-enquiry that delves into the nature of your being. Your thoughts, deeper beliefs and ego narratives. Only by recognising how you block yourself from noticing your suffering, can you go beyond it. From such a place, you will increasingly see how others too suffer just like you.
Harsha is a 1:1 life coach and independent thinker based in London. He empowers people to find more clarity, confidence and focus in their lives — to cut through the noise, in a world so full of it. Harsha’s new book, Machine Ego: Tragedy of the Modern Mind, is now available in paperback and Kindle through Amazon.