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When your suffering is self-inflicted, you cause it to yourself. It's not inflicted on you from an external source. The self-inflicted suffering includes physical, mental and emotional pain, illnesses, problems and the difficult or dangerous situation you place yourself in.

Physical pain can be inflicted on you from the outside, but it is not so with mental and emotional pain. If you are suffering either or both of these pains, try not to lay the blame on other people. It’s pointless to do that. No one can inflict the emotional pain on you that you are bearing now. Your emotional suffering is the result of your inability to control your thoughts, and your pain comes from your thoughts. In most of these cases, medication cannot be of much help to relieve your pain. It is your own self that has to work on it. It is an inside job.

It is quite impossible for another person to harm you emotionally. You are the master of your own self. But you are no longer master of yourself if you acknowledge the power of others to cause you emotional suffering. For example, you accuse someone of arousing your anger. If you have complete control of yourself, you wouldn’t do that. If you can just face the truth that it's you who cause anger, fear and other negative emotions to be suffered by you, you will realize that you need not have to undergo such emotional pains. It is your beliefs, the decisions you make and the actions you take that are the culprit of the emotional distress you are experiencing now. Control your mind and you control your suffering.

You choose to get angry, experience fear, hold grudges, harbour resentment, feel jealousy, seek revenge, fill with hatred, and more. It's all your choice. No one can ever forcibly heap all these emotions upon you. You feel of your own free will. You would not be in any of these emotional states if you did not identify your own mind with what others have said or done to you. This is an undeniable fact of life which is rather hard to accept. Train your mind to accept that whatever happens externally can never adversely affect you emotionally. When you do, you gain complete freedom from such self-inflicted emotional wounds. You become untouchable. You are not able to be defeated emotionally and are as good as you ever hope to be.

For some people, a tragic event that happened in recent, or even the distant past still brings great sorrow to them. They allow their minds to dwell on it when they should have let it go long ago so that they can move on with their lives. In life, sad experiences are aplenty: Tragic events are inevitable such as the death of a dearly loved one or unanticipated such as the break up of an intimate relationship. They happen. Do the people directly affected have to relive the event and experience the distressing feeling with no end? Perhaps, it takes time as the absence of a beloved partner who passed away is a constant reminder of the painful loss. However, one need not continue living in the past, and never to be free from this needless suffering. The sooner one manages to summon up enough courage to overcome this problem in order not to be deprived of the opportunity to lead a normal and happy life, the better it will surely be.

Despite the health problems associated with heavy drinking and the harmful effects of smoking, a lot of people continue to drink and smoke. And the problem of drug abuse is on the rise. These self-inflicted habits are gradually eroding the health of the body and are very difficult to break. We have to be very careful to not even try out any of these as the next step could be addiction.

Accept the truth that it is your thoughts that have triggered all your negative feelings. Remember whatever other people say or do is of no consequence to you, and that you choose not to be unduly affected by them. Adopt this pragmatic approach to deal with events in your life. It releases you, and you will not inflict yourself again with any needless pains.