Suffering Definition And Why We Need To Change It!

If you belong to any religious group or were raised in one, you will be familiar with the word suffering and everything that it entails. The bible is full of stories of suffering. No one needed to know the suffering definition, it was just accepted that we all have it!

I was raised catholic so stories of suffering are not new to me. I was raised to believe that suffering was just a natural part of life. Everyone suffers and it is just something that you need to ‘get through’. But, over the last six months, I have had reason to question my belief’s. A different approach to suffering is need. I have actually found a need to re-frame my beliefs about it.

Suffering Definition That Can Mislead

A suffering definition is:

the state of undergoing pain, distress, or hardship.

Is this really how we will continue to view suffering or do we all need to have another look at this to smash another of life’s Brules?

For years, I have ‘suffered’. Like everyone, I have suffered through some minor and major life. I will call them issues for now but will explain why I now see them as challenges later.

Unlike most people though, I have never believed that life and relationships were meant to be hard. Whenever anyone said that to me, my response was always – No, it isn’t!

Definition suffering

I’m not sure where this particular belief came from but it certainly was not the norm. Most people had been conditioned to believe that we are meant to have suffering so that we can grow. That I believe. But, should we be looking at suffering as a negative thing? Or alternatively, should we be looking at it much more positively as an opportunity? As the Universe showing us that ‘hardship’ or suffering is really just a torch pointing us away from the path, we are currently on? A path that is causing us to be miserable?

Now that I am committed to seeing suffering as fuel to create a better life, I see signs of it everywhere. The definitions of it may vary but the message is the same.

1. The Law Of Manifestation

As Wayne Dyer points out in his book “The Power Of Intention”,

“The way you look at life is essentially a barometer of your expectations, based on what you’ve been taught you’re worthy of and capable of achieving. Those expectations are largely imposed by external influences such as family, community, and institutions, but they’re also influenced by that ever-present inner companion: your ego.”

Wayne Dyer – The Power of Intention

He then goes on to explain that:

“These sources of your expectations are largely based on the beliefs that limitation, scarcity, and pessimism about what’s possible for you. If these beliefs are the basis for how you look at life, then this perception of the world is what you expect for yourself.”

Dr Wayne Dyer – The Power Of Intention


If we continue to look at suffering as just something that we need to ‘get through’, aren’t we disabling our natural ability and born given right to use our superpowers to change our lens. We need to look at suffering as the signpost to get to where we are meant to be?

2. David Goggins – Cultivate The Mind Of A Warrior

I haven’t read David Goggin’s book “Cultivate the mind of a warrior” yet, but I have it ready and waiting for me on my kindle. But, I have listened to the interview that Vishen Lakhiani did with David Goggins through Mindvalley.

Suffering definition

Wow! What a guy. Aside from the fact that I loved the amount of swearing he does, this guy has truly been through suffering and come out better for it on the other side. I won’t ruin the book for you by talking about David Goggin’s background but it is nothing short of amazing how this guy used the ‘suffering’ definition to his advantage. To say the interview was motivational, would be a huge understatement!

His view is that every obstacle should be looked at as friction because where there is no friction, there is no growth. Instead of looking at his life from a “woe is me” perspective, David Goggins found the power to overcome what he was going through to use as ‘fuel’ for the rest of his life.

A few epic quotes

“What makes people different is a flip in the f-ing (my shortening) mindset.”

“At the end of suffering is greatness.”

Concerning avoiding suffering, “We shelter ourselves from greatness.”

“The Mind will always win until you reprogram it.”

“Suffering’s just being very uncomfortable a lot.”

“A warrior crosses a finish line and continues to run, in his mind. There is no finish line.”

David Goggins – Interview with Vishen Lakhiani, Mindvalley

David Goggin’s seems to be a man that likes to live on the edge, in extremes. I am not saying that we all need to push ourselves as much as he has but the man has a point. When we are in suffering, we should flip our f-ing mindsets! David Goggin’s would probably be the last person to care about the suffering definition. And why should he? He has clearly pushed past it.

3. Brené Brown – The Gifts Of Imperfection

Brené Brown’s a bit of a hero of mine and I have read a lot of her books as well as watched her most recent Netflix movie, “The Call To Courage.” Now that I have finished being a groupie, I need to quote Brené Brown from her book . “The Gifts of Imperfection – Let Go Of Who You Think You Are Supposed To Be and Embrace Who You Are.”

Suffering definition

Here is another person that has used a personal ‘crisis’ as fuel to move into a more fulfilling life! And, it probably never would have happened if the warrior mindset had not been there or she had chosen a different path. Nor if the Universe wasn’t operating as it naturally does to guide her to her truest purpose.

Here is her view of the suffering she experienced:

“People may call what happens at mid-life a crisis, but it’s not. It’s an unraveling, a time when you feel a desperate pull to live the life you want to live, not the one you are supposed to live. An unraveling is a time when you are challenged by the universe to let go of who you think you are supposed to be and to embrace who you are.”

I honestly believe that the Universe is currently pushing all of us to ‘unravel’. Re-framing the most common of Brules is the best way to get started understanding how to elevate our consciousness and that of the planet. We have to wholeheartedly embrace the ‘struggles’ we face. Learn how to take the positive view that each struggle or unravel is just another lesson to learn.

4. Gabby Bernstein – The Gifts Of Imperfection

I am reading Gabby Bernstein’s new book Super Attractor at the moment and one of the quotes that has stuck so far is,

Suffering definition

“The moment we choose to perceive our pain as the catalyst for great healing and growth, we realign with the power of the Universe. This gratitude helps you get out of the feeling of being the victim and into a state of positivity.

Gabrielle Bernstein – Super Attractor – Methods for manifesting a life beyond your wildest dreams

One of the excellent things about this book (so far) is Gabby provides a whole bunch of tools throughout the book. Given how long we have carried our view of suffering – I want all the tools I can get!

Does It Have To Be Hard?

Without a doubt, suffering is hard! But, how many times have you heard people refer to a period in their lives that was hard? Only in hindsight to say that the hardship turned out to be a blessing? A blessing that turned out to be lifechanging.

I am with all of my mentors above on this! From now on, I am going to take direction from the Universe and use ‘challenging’ situations as my barometer for change.

I’m certainly not saying that any of this is easy but I will say that since I have ‘reframed’ my thinking on suffering, my life has been a bit easier. With more practice of viewing the world this way, it can only get better. The suffering definition no longer matters to me.

I’ll keep you posted on how I get on…