When the Buddha teaches that there is a way out of suffering, clearly he does not mean that there is a way to escape pain. Pain per se cannot be avoided. But pain does not have to become suffering.
Pain comes and goes in life. But that is not yet suffering. Suffering is the product of the pain and our resistance to it. The more we tighten up against pain, the more we suffer. The more we ease up and open out to the pain, softening to it, allowing and experiencing it, the less we suffer.
Buddhism offers a simple summary and consequent solution to human existence, referred to as The Four Noble Truths:
1. Suffering happens.
2. Suffering has a cause.
3. Suffering can be stopped.
4. There is a way to live that prevents suffering. (Yay!)
The key to lessoning the impact of hard, difficult moments in life is to watch our reaction. In Buddhism, suffering is likened to an arrow. The first arrow is painful. Normal. Our fighting against the pain is like a second arrow being shot. Except this time, we are the one’s doing the aiming.