When we are faced with our own or others’ suffering, it is important to know that there is an off switch. For ourselves, we can learn to access that switch through training our minds. For others, we can demonstrate compassion and kindness and help them to learn to access that switch in their minds.
As we practice intentional compassion and kindness towards others and ourselves we learn to turn off our suffering. As we practice experiencing joy, gratitude, generosity and love we will notice new ways to turn off our suffering. As we practice tuning into our own and others’ suffering we will learn how to notice whenever the switch is on. Then we can practice turning it off again. When we have managed, through our practice, to turn off our own suffering, again and again, we gain confidence in the existence of this switch. Understanding that we can access it when we need to, changes the nature of our suffering. It increases the effectiveness of our practice and increases our desire to help others find how to access their switches.
Some switches are accessible through meditation, others through medication. How we locate our switch is not as important as knowing that it is there and looking for it. Some of our habits turn it on, some turn it off. Each of us has to find our own switch and how to flip it, but we can help each other as we search. Understand that we all suffer, off and on.