Is it possible that there is one major cause of psychological pain and suffering?
Yes! The major cause of suffering is UNKINDNESS – to yourself and others.
Let’s take a look at why unkindness causes the majority of the pain in the world.
When you are unkind to yourself though your thoughts, like judging yourself by telling yourself you aren’t good enough, how do you feel? Your unkind self-judgments are causing your distress.
When you’re unkind to yourself through your self-abandoning activities, such as eating badly, not exercising, or ignoring your own feelings and choosing addictions, how do you feel? In the long run you may end up feeling physically ill, scared, alone and so on. Your self-abandoning lack of self-kindness is causing your suffering.
When you are unkind to others through your words or deeds, how can you wind up feeling? Angry, lonely, empty, alone? Your unloving actions are causing your suffering.
Suffering is the result of unkindness to ourselves and to others.
Suffering Is Caused By The Wounded Self
The suffering in the world is caused by our wounded selves. The wounded self is not concentrated on true kindness. Even if we appear to be focused on kindness to others, when we are unkind to ourselves we end up suffering. The wounded self is focused on control, and might even use kindness toward others as a kind of control, but control isn’t kind and will eventually lead to distress.
This can never change on the amount of the wounded self. We can’t move to kindness unless that is our intent, and the intent of the wounded self is always to restrain ourselves and others. The injured self believes that controlling brings security. It’s devoted to controlling because it came into being when we were young to attempt and make us feel secure. The wounded self doesn’t understand that its current efforts to make us feel safe cause our suffering.
Consciously Changing Your Intent Can Heal Your Suffering
It’s only when our intent changes from control to learning about what is most kind to ourselves and others that true change can happen. When you choose to focus on the question,”What is most kind to me in this moment?” Then follow through with the kind thought or action – toward yourself and others – you will be on the path of ending your suffering. Provided that your key focus is unconsciously on the questions,”How do I have control over feeling safe and loved? How do I have control over not being rejected and hurt? How can I have control over not being controlled?” You will be perpetuating your suffering.
Kindness is always a CONSCIOUS choice. If you don’t consciously choose your intent – your attention in the moment – then you may unconsciously be focused on control.
Practicing Inner Work Healing Process Can End Your Suffering
This is what practicing Internal Work is all about. It is about choosing to be conscious of your suffering so that you can consciously choose to take responsibility for it by consciously choosing the intent to learn about how your wounded self is causing your distress. It’s about consciously deciding to open to your advice about what is most kind to yourself in any given moment regarding your thoughts and actions toward yourself and others. It’s about consciously choosing to put kindness into action through your thoughts and actions.
If you choose to practice Step One of Internal Work – practicing mindfulness of your internal experience, of your feelings, your emotions, your suffering, and knowingly deciding to take 100% responsibility for your feelings – then you can consciously choose the other measures of Inner Work Recovery Process.