"not to struggle against the pain in our life"
I had been having various kinds of suffering or discomfort or pain---
disappointment in a Teacher . . . a widening distance from Zen . . . the pain from the slowly healing broken arm, the real handicaps of not driving, not painting, not cooking much (you try it with your nondominant hand) . . . the side effect of the pain medication in demotivating me. . . the anxiety of the bladder infections coming back, whether surgery is going to be necessary after all. And a second-hand criticism.
It went a lot of places for me. It went to how sensitive I am to criticism, to rejection, how thin-skinned. How that affects my willingness to send my poetry out. Then back to how I became thin-skinned, my father's relentless criticism of me, my mother's lack of caring. It just went all over the place, though I sure didn't want it to. I've had a hard year, the increasing loneliness of age and disability. And I was in the grip of a depressing infection at that time.
So I struggled around fighting all this mental and emotional crap. How could I alleviate my pain? And I didn't have any answers. I wasn't talking myself out of my upset.
So for some reason - the moon was full - I was ready to hear what Pema said in the talk above. Yes, we do have suffering. Inevitably. Sometimes people hurt and betray us. We age. We die. People and animals we love die. We are in pain from physical conditions, mental conditions, and maybe we're always going to be. The point is, relax into it. There it is. There is no fixing a great many things, no cure. You don't have to like your suffering, your pain. But you don't get anywhere struggling against it. There.
[p.s. Yes, I have another (or the same) bladder infection. Started antibiotic today.]