IN CONTINUATION FROM: SOWN OATS. TALES FROM THE WALK BEHIND ME, NO.9
Suffering is fine.
We can’t escape suffering because there are a million things to suffer over.
You can learn a lot listening to the words people say, in particular to their personal expression of suffering, regardless how miniscule. Funny enough, the feeling of suffering itself–or the idea of it– is something that we find community in.
“Is it 5 o’clock yet?”
“Is it 5 o’clock yet?” is probably something that is said incessantly around workplaces across the globe. It is classic workplace banter to lighten the mood between coworkers who have been brought together in a place to collect a paycheck and to go home. In a way, it’s a way for people to “out pain” each other.
It is a deceiving question, for some it may be genuine, and for others it may be something to just say…. Heck, I myself have said it to coworkers assuming it is something the other person would like to here, or to just break away awkward silences.
These days I have nipped that behavior in the bud as I try to refrain from saying things that I don’t genuinely mean, or even opt out from saying anything at all–Silence is underrated!
In any point, if suffering is truly abundant in this world then we must learn to enjoy the suffering.
This is something to think about often, at least for myself. Heck, I came home the other day utterly exhausted from the physical effort of my day job– A standard 8 hour shift with no real food or break, largely due to my own choosing.
My last substantial meal is the night before, my breakfast is a coffee with some oat milk, and I take 15 minutes just shy of noon to down a protein shake, a banana and a square of chocolate. I am entitled to 30 minutes but I cut it short because when I am done dusting off my jeans and shirt and fueling myself, I’d rather just get back to work.
When I come home, I down some BCAA’s and hit the gym for an extra hour. I usually pop into the grocery store after that to pick up a bag of groceries. I then drive back home and lug that bag up three levels to the apartment my girlfriend and I rent out where I’ll clean up and finally sit down for my first solid meal in 24 hours.
At that point, I’ll throw on Love Island with Jess, check out for the night, and set out on the same routine for the following morning.
Does it sound like work? Maybe, but to me it’s just life— more specifically, it’s life for right now.
It’s a standard working experience, but I try to be as productive as much as possible through my days in my own personal vocations– like this website (Littermature.com) my writing, my e-book, my notebooks, my in the works lifestyle crash course philosophy on Udemy, and other projects I’m meddling in.
But of course, the brief description of my daily routine underscores the true essence of the suck that is endured through my day. It’s not about rating the difficulty of my routine in weighing it up against others, because every life has it’s own unique qualities and exhaustive hardships to it–the point is to love it or to seek change in your lifestyle is if you don’t!
My reasons for my routine are specific to me, and I am sure you have your own reasons for the doing the things that you do in the way that you do them. Again, if you don’t have your reasons, then you better figure them out, and quick!
A depressing reality is one where we feel a lack of control in our lives. The satisfaction of purpose is found in the choices we intentionally make for reasons that we understand and enjoy.
Personally, I like my routine because it doesn’t feel like suffering. I like the feeling of an empty stomach at work–it keeps me focused, level headed, and alert, I am more productive. I like going home feeling tired only to pick up some shorts and a t-shirt to hit the gym–I love the physical, emotional, and spiritual byproducts of physical fitness. I like coming home feeling wiped out looking up the last staircase to lug a heavy bag of groceries up–it’s the final stretch of discomfort or effort before unwinding.
These little moments of suffering epitomize the slow death of life.
After all, from our moment in birth life is simply a clock slowly ticking towards death. Interestingly enough, our day is organized by the very same clock ticking down our rise and fall through wake to slumber.
It might seem depressing, but it’s really just what life is reduced to in the grand scheme of things, where fulfillment boils down to the variety that we meaningfully choose between ourselves for ourselves.
In kind, our hours are filled with a range of experiences that embody the fight to survive that very same day, every day. And regardless of the differences between ourselves, it is these little moments that make our life fulfilling if we choose to see it that way.
As I have said before, it is the simple and little things that bridge meaning and reveal life’s beauty for us to experience. Our life then, is made in choosing how we suffer.
What choice are we left with, but to embrace the suffering.
Let’s move on!
The following is Number 10 of 14 in the series of blog posts called “Tales From The Walk Behind Me”.
If you’re new to these, it is a series of originally journaled entries through a few of my days —events, experiences, thoughts— along the Camino De Santiago.
If you missed part one, here it is — Click Me!
This is my standard cut and paste disclaimer from the tale before, I will give you the bit of warning because it might not be what you expect– my thoughts can be ugly because I’m a weirdo.
Furthermore, the content will vary, and the timelines will be all over the place because my mind loves a wild goose chase.
You also may question my own benevolence as a human being.
EXPERIENCE IS A STATE OF MIND, Here is no. 7…
EN ROUTE CAMINO NORTE – So brado de monxes, galicia. SPAIN.
Sunday September 22, 2019.
Today was a bitch!
I am parched, and my feet are hurting–Quite possibly my two biggest complaints. Nonetheless, I have made the 58km trek for the day that only took me 12 hours.
I also only took one break, but oh how glorious the break was–The coffee was beaut and the tortilla was unreal! An exact grande sized cup of a good Galician cafe con leche with some sugar stirred to taste that was served with a classic Spanish egg and potato tortilla dish.
It’s the usual staple for me through my days wherever I can get it, and it is just as satisfying when I do. It is an interesting thing you know, as it is more than a meal, and what it is–is a savored experience!
I let myself go with indulgence a bit today as my hollow legs got the best of me when I put down a croissant and 5 more to boot after that!
A Pilgrim’s Supper
My dinner was a different story.
The long day and little amenities meant that whatever was around was closing, and for a split second, I was also concerned about locking in refuge for the night. Either way, my evening meal was whatever was left in my pack from last night’s grocery dinner shop in Vilalba. So today’s evening meal was a delectable guacamole and melba toast starter, followed up with a main of 4 little packs of sweetened yogurt sprinkled with muesli that I threw on top, and my desert was an Oreo Milka bar.
To be honest, it was all pretty epic and tasty, and the calories definitely seem to be there, but I feel fairly undernourished and could do for a quality WARM meal –Perhaps something to look forward to tomorrow night.
Anyway, the message for today entirely has to do with struggle. To be more precise, “suffering” is the thought that came to my mind today.
Overall, I can feel good in life because I can appreciate suffering.
With suffering you can learn to love, you can learn to hope–to wish, to dream, to have faith.
Biblically speaking, if Jesus suffered for us then who are we to shy away from struggle and pain for ourselves? Suffering in this sense was necessary for the ultimate good for the spirit of humanity.
My mind steered itself towards such religious and philosophical narratives today as these thoughts came about weighing over the history and intended nature of the Camino Pilgrimage itself– A pilgrimage undertaken by many for “faith”.
Of course it is a Catholic focus but many choose to do the walk for all sorts of reasons–spiritual, physical, or other. My own reasons are just that, my own, and though religion isn’t the purpose behind my motives, God definitely reveals himself to me.
In moving on interestingly enough, I overheard a young woman comment to another woman regarding her calling to become a priest or priestess–Whatever the label for her personal calling is, it was more of a purposeful eavesdropping than overhearing since we’re on about it.
Either way, all the power to her in her journey, but what I found funny in the same stroke of conversation was hearing her self-defeating complaints of fatigue and other pains regarding the distance and toll of the kilometers of her walk.
I mean, complaining wasn’t the real issue as there is no problem with complaining in the sense that it is also a way to relate.
“You’ve got to listen to your body”, she said to her fellow woman.
And yes I thought, as it is advice that I totally agree with, but to what point do we settle into that idea as an excuse to escape the hard work that is cut out for ourselves?
There are fine lines to everything, then at what point do we bring our suffering to an end as a means to satisfy our own comfort or feelings of security. Alternatively, when it does get uncomfortable why should we stop? Is it not better to endure, and endure more to continue to push the envelope beyond into our own greatness for our greatest good.
Suffering is our best teacher
Suffering afterall, is typically involuntary as it often results from a lack of control–a control for our basic needs as they become compromised–Or even the feeling of control having escaped us.
Whatever it is, in our plan to push and control suffering we can build a resilience toward enduring it–Enlightened in a way beyond our physical selves.