Being Present in Mindfulness sometimes requires a Surrendering to Things (both external and internal) As They Are. Surrendering is not an easy task for most of us, and probably seems counter-productive to our best interests ; indeed, we are conditioned all our lives that we can and should control and/or avoid discomforting external circumstances.
But, surrendering to things as they are serves as an invitation to make the absolute most out of every situation, even situations that involve suffering.
Suffering comes in many forms–loneliness, anger, frustration, anxiety, stress, feeling abused, poverty, physical pain–the number of shapes into which Suffering can transfigure is endless. Meeting suffering with resistance is the martial arts equivalent of meeting force with force: it expends energy in all the wrong places and weakens the martial artist. Recognizing suffering when it knocks on your door and greeting it as an old friend, however, allows energy to be conserved and to be directed properly; it strengthens whoever allows it in without resistance. It will leave eventually, but while it is a visitor, it is wise to treat it as a guest.
Why treat Suffering as a Guest? Recognize Suffering. Embrace Suffering. Have compassion for it. When you embrace suffering instead of resisting it, you begin the process of having compassion for yourself. The seed of compassion within yourself will grow; it will embrace others as it expands. Suffering always carries with it seeds of transformation. It has a gift for you held in its gnarled hands. Having compassion for suffering rather than meeting it with resistance cuts short the experiences of anger, shame, and bitterness. When you resist suffering instead of welcoming it, you deprive yourself of the opposite–understanding, self-esteem, and confidence.