Each person who chooses suffering, and lives it, embraces it for as long as they think they deserve to. Why? Between suffering and joy, I’d think joy would win out. But I also remember a time when I didn’t know I had a choice. I did not wish to suffer (so I thought) but I believed it was my lot, that I did not deserve any better. And so I embraced it. Someone told me once, long ago, when I was a teenager: “Pain is inevitable. Suffering, optional.” I’m glad they did, even though I didn’t understand it for many years. Because the seed was planted, waiting, laying dormant until the right combination of ‘nutrients’ were introduced. I think THAT occurred when one evening a man I’d just met told me that I had a choice. And later, that life offers many options and ours is to choose how we proceed. Today my options are many and today I choose joy.