There is no option available for a pain-free life. We do have the option to have our suffering be meaningful or meaningless. While that might not seem like such a great choice, it can mean the difference between existing and living or even life or death. Meaningful suffering is that which results in some kind of redemption. It is a suffering that leads to something of value, such as a deeper understanding, greater compassion, forgiveness, acceptance, or reconciliation.
Transforming ordinary suffering into meaningful suffering requires the willingness to feel our experience fully without resistance to penetrate its depths. In so doing, we may encounter feelings of fear, shame, remorse, and grief. But we also begin to learn valuable lessons embedded in our situation. We become stronger and more resilient as we face ourselves directly. It is not by avoiding adversity that resilience is developed — but by gradually exposing ourselves to higher degrees of personal challenge, our capacity to withstand stress grows.