Why do we admire certain “positive” qualities so much when they require us to be miserable?
In last week’s post about how I was facing cancer without any fear whatsoever, I explained why I didn’t think that I was brave. Bravery requires experiencing fear and I wasn’t experiencing any fear. I went on to point out that you’re better off not feeling fear at all—which eliminates the need for bravery—than being brave. And I explained what you could do to eliminate all your fears.
In thinking about that idea further this past week I realized that there were several other “positive” qualities that required you to be miserable before you could develop the positive quality. Three of them include “courage, “toughness” and “self-discipline.”
What is each of these “positive” qualities?
The Oxford English Dictionary defines courage as “the ability to do something that frightens one.”
So to have courage, you first must first be frightened and then be able to act in the face of the fear.
It goes on to define brave as “People who are ready to face and endure danger or pain.”
“Toughness” is defined as “able to endure hardship or pain.”
And “self-discipline” is defined as “The ability to control one’s feelings and overcome one’s weaknesses.”
Each quality requires that you experience negative emotions so you can use that quality to overcome them.
It doesn’t look like fun getting there
To be courageous requires that you first experience fear.
To be brave requires that you first endure danger.
To be tough requires that you first endure pain.
To be self-disciplined requires that you first have negative feelings to overcome.
Yes, I agree that if you were having all these negative emotions, it would be nice to find a way to not be run by them. But why would anyone ever want to experience fear, danger, pain, and negative feelings in order to become courageous, brave, tough, or self-disciplined?
Suffering is not inevitable
If you think that suffering is inevitable (as do most people in the world), then it is wonderful to find a way to endure it. But suffering is not inevitable.
Suffering is nothing more than experiencing negative emotions. Stop your fear, anger, sadness, upset, grief, and envy and you will stop suffering.
Think about the alternative and decide which type of life you choose:
Either continue to experience suffering and then develop some qualities that enable you to deal with, handle, and perhaps overcome your suffering.
Or use the Lefkoe Freedom Process to dissolve the meaning you unconsciously and automatically assign to meaningless events, thereby simultaneously eliminating your negative feelings and your suffering.
I’ve written extensively on how to use the Lefkoe Freedom Process to dissolve occurrings. See especially http://www.mortylefkoe.com/important-improve-life/ and http://www.mortylefkoe.com/what-they-seem-2/. You can also view my TEDx talk, “How to Stop Suffering,” where I walk the viewer through the process for dissolving meaning: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sMdVM-t5kFs.
I want to thank you for the hundreds of communications of love and support. I really appreciate them.
Thanks for reading my blog. Please post your questions or comments on why pain and suffering are required to acquire some very popular “positive” qualities. Disagreement is as welcome as agreement. Your comments add value for thousands of readers. I love to read them all and I will respond to as many as I can.
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Copyright © 2014 Morty Lefkoe