Magic in Misery

Becoming aware of the good hard things.

The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres on our open platform. We publish pieces as written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Community stories are not commissioned by our editorial team and must meet our guidelines prior to being published.

Eckart Tolle first taught me about the “Power of Now” — that peace is the ultimate goal and we find that in the here & now. He taught me that any grasping for the past or projecting into the future is suffering, and why would you consciously suffer?

Yung Pueblo wrote, “the greatest oppressor is the untrained mind.” And– “The mind is purified when we release the weight of the past and yearnings for specific things in the future.”

These beliefs have deeply resonated with me. After reading them, I was the first to go to loved ones and preach “acceptance” as the key to unlocking personal healing.

Now, though, I have come to understand that there is something not quite right about these mantras. There is something important missing — like a page ripped out of a novel.

What’s missing is this: there is a good kind of suffering. There is magic in misery.

Untrained = Wild

If suffering = the distance between what is currently true (aka present moment, here, what you have now) and what you wish were true — then there is some suffering that must be done.

There is a truer, more beautiful life that does not exist in the the present moment, but does exist in my imagination.

A life where BIPOC are no longer systematically oppressed or killed because of the color of their skin.

A world where every mama has the means and resources to feed and shelter her babies and keep them safe.

A world where wealth is distributed equally, global trade is optimized, and humans are free and safe to move around as they choose.

A world where universal health care is accessible to all.

A world where humans are no longer destroying the climate and depleting resources, but enhancing the earth and leaving it better than we found it.

So, no, Eckart and Yung, I do not agree that the current goal is to “end suffering by staying present.”

For me, the goal is to suffer well. As John Lewis says it, “get in some good trouble.” Because…

Suffering will not end for any of us until it ends for all of us.

Love always,


Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

You might also like...


6 Golden Rules For Living A Good Life Now

by Tony Fahkry

Searching for Happiness

by Anthony Profeta
The Thrive Global Questionnaire//

What We Can Learn From This Unique Perspective on Failure

by Lindsey Benoit O'Connell

Sign up for the Thrive Global newsletter

Will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

Thrive Global
People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.


We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.