In 1895, Freud presented his work, "
Project for a Scientific Psychology," in which he proposed the Pleasure Principle as the driving force for the id, the impulsive and primal part of the personality.
The Pleasure Principle states that, in order to achieve psychological satisfaction, an organism is reflexively drawn to activities that create feelings of pleasure, while avoiding those that cause pain.
Seems evolutionarily sound, doesn't it? Until you consider how much of our growth comes from facing that which we fear, rather than giving into our baser instinct to run.
Running from that which makes us uncomfortable is actually fraught with more problems than standing firm and facing it, as it creates unnecessary suffering. Suffering, in Buddhist terms, results from trying to avoid or control what we don't want in our lives. By trying to avoid pain, we actually double down and create a whole boatload of problems in the guise of avoidance, distraction and acting out.
The more we try to control, the more we suffer. The more we surrender, the more equanimity, or calm and stability in the face of chaos, we experience.
In this month's featured article, Dan shares with us what he has learned about suffering from the current political climate and points us toward the opportunity for wisdom that it presents.
(Spoiler alert!) Breathe deep and lean in.
In peace and compassion,