What if the suffering in your life is optional? 

October 7, 2016 by Janet Marlin

I love the Buddhist quote, “pain is inevitable, but suffering is optional”.  The damage we do to ourselves in our minds often far exceeds that of the actual events.

We can’t avoid pain in life, be it physical pain or mental pain, but how much we suffer along the way can be minimized.

While going through change and experiencing pain is an inevitable part of life, we can learn to become aware of the present moment rather than grieve the past or fear the future and to accept (acknowledge and not resign to) what is already here rather than resist or avoid it.  We can choose to focus on our values in the face of adversity.  We can reduce our suffering and engage with life challenges in a more encouraging and productive manner.


At JMA we embrace the values that allow individuals to lead their lives with meaning and purpose; to manage the suffering and improve the levels of happiness and fulfillment that we are able to squeeze out of our time.  Our JMA counsellors will help you to bring your goals and values into focus and will introduce you to new ways of managing the hurdles that life may throw in your way.

Let us remember the words of Victor Frankl “Between stimulus and response there is a space.  In that space is our power to choose our response.  In our response lies our growth and our freedom”.  Frankl, V. E. (1984).  Man’s search for meaning: An introduction to logotherapy.  New York: Simon & Schuster.

At the end of the day, we do have a choice.


The JMA team is waiting to help you.


CIBC Run for the Cure on Sunday, October 2, 2016



J Marlin and Associates Inc. offers Cognitive Behavioural Therapy services to help individuals increase their sense of vitality, well-being, and fulfillment.

Head Office1100 Burloak Drive, Suite 603 Burlington, ON L7L 6B2

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