On absolutes to life there are at least two. The first, “we are all going to die”.The second, whether we like it or not, “we are all going to suffer”. Unlike the former, suffering perpetually or episodically prevails across the life cycle and when it alights upon us can vary in form, depth and duration, that is, whether through external events or via our own internal struggles.
To this end ‘a statistic of one in four is commonly reported with respect to mental well-being. Essentially this implies three out of four don’t experience whatever ‘this one is’. Is this an ailment, an illness, feeling low, beneath par , under the weather, etc? Whatever euphemism we employ, the truth of the matter is simply this, “everyone suffers and no one escapes and that means no-one”. There is no get out of jail free card. Suffering is a dynamic of existence and is symbiotic with what it is to be human. What maybe significant is how we meet our afflictions in trying to ensure we have a better from of it. This was Freud’s endeavour, to ‘transform hysterical misery into everyday unhappiness’.
“To know others is wisdom, to know oneself enlightenment” (Lau Tzu, c. sixth century B.C.).
Within Irish culture most people wait until the accumulation of their suffering has reached a ‘critical mass’ or crises point before acting. We have not yet cultivated an attitude toward distress which is reasonably healthy. We’re forever sweeping ‘stuff’ under the carpet and putting things on the back- boiler, invariably with the net result of ‘getting roasted’.
It is not only prudent but eminently wise to meet our suffering with humility, openness and courage. We are obligated to take care of, not just our bodies but also our minds.
You wouldn’t ignore your physical health, don’t ignore mental health.