In this article in the Lion’s Roar the tibetan buddhist nun Pema Chödron elaborates on the essence of buddhism in a very down-to-earth way that anyone can relate too. She explains how we try to run away from the facts of life, trying to avoid pain and seek pleasure, running away from the present moment, from the next thing to the next thing, always busy with one thing or another. As this gets us caught in a circle of repeating unhappiness she instead proposes ‘to sit with’ our pain, our suffering and our unhappiness, however big or small. Can we endure it without running away, can we analyze it and recognize it for what it is? Which will, how counterintuitive this may sound, lead to its dissolution. Through understanding and dealing with our own suffering we can understand the suffering of others and develop empathy by breaking down the barriers we put up around ourselves to keep out our pain and suffering. This is just a short parafrase of a wonderful article, as I am not as wellversed in Buddhism as Pema Chödron I encourage you to read the full text in the link below.