Sometimes, Lao Tze and Confucius agree on the gentle approach and the necessity of yielding.
The modern Western mind tends to be masculine and prizes strength. But we ought to have a different way to look at suffering. I like Ram Dass’s idea that suffering is grace.
The acceptance of suffering is therefore a form of surrendering to God/Tao/Reality. It is just like a reed bending to a strong wind. Because it bends, it will not break. Confucius said, “The green reed which bends in the wind is stronger than the mighty oak which breaks in a storm.” We need to learn to embrace suffering, not to resist it or resent it. Fighting suffering which is inevitable is like adding salt to the wound.
It is not true that enlightened people don’t have normal human emotions. They have pain too. They suffer too. But their suffering is like the ripples on a lake. They disappear as soon as the wind stops blowing. They are not prolonged due to attachment.
Accepting suffering as Grace is the judo of the heart. It is the gentle way. It is also the wise way.