If you had choice between joy and suffering in your life, which would you choose? You would probably say joy. But think about it. Would you really be willing to give up your drama for sake of joy? Or do you think that joy and suffering can exist side by side?
They cannot. Suffering and joy exclude each other. Suffering is fed by feelings of self-devaluation and failure. They confirm one's notion of worthlessness and legitimate one's suffering.
It is important to distinguish between suffering and pain. Pain signalizes an injury or an imbalance in our system. Suffering is a fixation on pain, an attitude of ignorance or an attempt to find an identity.
For many people their life drama is basis of their identity. Their aim in life is to gain recognition for suffering that they have endured. This is a very human and legitimate need. The problem is that recognising suffering does not cure it. On contrary.
The knowledge that it gets you attention and compassion from others gives suffering additional value. It becomes a tool for gaining affection. The suffering is thereby strengthened, and it becomes even more difficult to free yourself from its grip.
Suffering can be result of daily little disasters that for many people is a way to feel alive. For some is it only familiar way how to participate in life.
Suffering can also be a quiet accuse that life is unjust and hard. In such a case, you may feel like a victim of circumstances. As a victim, you give your power to circumstances.
We suffer when we lose a loved one. It is important at this point to distinguish between pain over loss and suffering. Pain is a natural reaction to loss. The pain passes, if you allow yourself to mourn loss. After such active mourning you turn back to life.
Guilt feelings or rage against injustice of world feed suffering. If you do not recognise and acknowledge these feelings suffering then can turn into a victim position.