What makes me suffer

By Paulo Coelho

Rabbi Moshe de Sassov gathered his disciples in order to tell them that he had finally learned to love his neighbor. They all thought that he had had a divine revelation, but Moshe denied this.

– In fact – he said – this morning when I went out to do some shopping, I saw my neighbor, Esther, talking to her son. She asked him:

“Do you love me?”

The son said yes. So Esther went on:

“Do you know what makes me suffer?”

“I’ve no idea,” replied the son.

“How can you love me, if you do not know what makes me suffer? Try to quickly find out all the things which make me unhappy, for only then will your love be impeccable.”

And Rabbi Moshe de Sassov concluded:

– True love is that which manages to avoid unnecessary suffering.

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  1. Jena says:

    This gave me goosebumps!

  2. Parsh says:

    Well said :). Most people who love would know what turns off the one they love. But defining unnecessary can vary from person to person……..

  3. THELMA says:

    My dearest Annie and Paul from Austria, I thank you both for listening to the ..Music of our hearts. After many years of trying to understand that..”Οποιος αγαπά παιδεύει”, [silly Greeks may have said that, in order to have an allibi for their ‘unloving’ and selfish behaviour} I decided it is a waist of time to expect others love us the way we ..expect or imagine. After all to be able to love is a capacity and wealth of someone’s soul. It is the lesson we have come to learn. Then, I think of re-incarnation and of the debts I may have to pay and wounds I may have come to heal.. The only thing that I try to do is avoiding negative future Karma….I will repeat : after all what is a life in ..eternity. LOVE, Thelma

  4. Nikola says:

    Firstly, I am not a parent and don´t know about the suffering for one´s children, but I think (in love for the partner or a friend) that we cause the suffering ourselves, it is independant of the other person. The older I get the more convinced I become that our love does not depend on the person we love, it springs from ourselves and brings joy and if we are convinced the other one loves us, his/her actions never cause us suffering, because we know he/she loves us, no matter what. Love is giving, it is a inexhaustible energy directed to someone, and we can direct this flow to someone else, without suffering.
    But also – I think love between a parent and a child is unconditional and doesn´t need to be questioned. And if the actions of a child causes pain or suffering (I tell it as a child) – this is the child´s own life and own choices. He/she never does it to cause distress and it is unfair to blame the child… maybe it is too confusing :)

  5. Rabbi Moshe de Sassov “True love is that which manages to avoid unnecessary suffering.”

    The quote is beautifully said and nicely written. There are two elements in the quote first is “love” and second is “true love”. When you have two different things in a quote that means that needs to be compared. There is comparison between the love and true love. How can a person determine what is “love” and what is “true love” ? To understand the difference one has to first understand what love is.

    When would you say- that a person is speaking what he is knowing or what he has experienced or what he has felt ? I do not agree, that there is any difference between any love or true love or false love or whatever. There is only one thing and that is “love”. When you are putting other words in front of it, or besides it then you are differentiating the words with others.

    A love is love, either it is true or false. A love can not be true or false. A love is pure and the purity of the love cannot be measure. Either it is the love of parents to their children or it is the love of husband towards his wife, or it is the love of animals. Love is same everywhere.

    Suffering cannot be manged. Suffering is that what we possess, that what we think and the way we think about anything. Suffering is present, it is vital for the existence. One has to understand how one takes it. Do you take “suffering” as one of the disease ? If you are taking suffering as the disease, then please think once again because disease in your body can go, it will one day vanish from your body but the suffering will not go until you are existing in this earth, until you are living in the present.

    Can you find the love from the suffering ? If you cannot see the love from the suffering how can you tell what is true love ? How can you determine that suffering do not have love ? “In pain, there is pleasure associated”. or rather, I would say-“Pain contains the pleasure”. One has to feel the pain to feel the pleasure. One has to feel the suffering to feel the love from the suffering.

    To understand weather you are getting a true love or no love or false love or just simply love you have to remove or take out from you mind the meaning of love. Once you remove all these definition of “what is love” then the remaining in your mind will give you, the proper definition of what is love.

    Necessary and unnecessary is associated with humans personal taste. One can find some thing necessary at the same time one does not find anything necessary out of it. Therefore, there is no difference between love. Love cannot be said, “true” or “false”. Love is simply love.

  6. Victoria says:

    I’ve just heard something like this (‘true love is that which manages to avoid unnecessary suffering’)
    but this is just so true!
    this is really one inspiring thought for the day and I wanna thank you Paulo for giving me so many wisdom from your books.
    I survived many of my desperate moments by your words and I really want you to know that you are my second great master of life (the first one is Jesus) and for that, I can’t give you anything else but a huge grateful thanks.


  7. Tania Alvarez "la cubana" says:

    Where there is Love, Suffering does not exist. For True Love does not allow suffering to exist.
    But people are different, misinterpretations can give place to disappointments and if these are not corrected by understanding, hate will come crawling shortly.
    Unless we accept our differences, star talking, really listening and love people for who they are, we cannot claim the feeling of Love to them.
    “Loving is caring”…

  8. Oyen says:

    i think the story is practically true but ideally incorrect. it’s like saying “white lies” or “omitting the truth” so that you can maintain the harmony, but ideally harmony should be maintained in truth.

  9. maria says:

    Love is a miracle. Lets learn to be impeccable in all its ways.

  10. Agnieszka says:

    take away the pain..let the sun shine..
    let the love flow in the rain..


  11. THELMA says:

    ‘True Love is…..’ This is what I have wondered, whenever I felt wounded by ..the loved ones! How can they, so easily, hurt me, since they know that I will be unhappy by their words or behaviour? Sometimes we, people, in our ‘walls of egoism’ are deaf to our hearts and the hearts of our ‘beloved’ones!! We think that we will always have the time and opportunity to make it up. LOVE, THELMA