That quote is attributed to the German philosopher, Friedrich Nietzsche.
Actually, he said it much more eloquently: “That which does not kill us, makes us stronger.”
While some pain and suffering in life are unavoidable and part of the human experience, much is self-induced by our thoughts and can be radically reduced by mindfulness practices and mental health tools.
Acceptance of the reality that’s present, is an essential first step to reducing suffering, and isn’t the same thing as condoning or approving. To accept means to stop resisting or struggling against what is. Because; to do so causes pain and suffering. Acceptance means to surrender to the moment as it is. Not give up.
The only time we suffer is when we believe a thought that argues with what is. When the mind is perfectly clear, what is is what we want. If you want reality to be different than it is, you might as well try to teach a cat to bark. You can try and try, and in the end, the cat will look up at you and say, “Meow".
Wanting reality to be different than it is – is hopeless.
Getting old or injured or defeated is painful and difficult and weakening and embarrassing. Everybody goes through this. No matter your attitude, something is going to knock you down from which you won't fully recover.
The fact is that sometimes what doesn't kill us makes us weaker. That’s alright. It's alright to be weak. You can ease the suffering of going through it by learning to accept what is.
Surrendering to any situation isn’t going to make it magically go away, but it will make it less painful.