. . . So the karma that is coming up calls us now to live through it fully, let go of the self-concept that refused it admission, and become something else and something more.
This is the deeper meaning of the Buddha’s teaching on the First Noble Truth, that life [as we know it] is suffering. Life is not inherently suffering. However, when we try to maintain a solid sense of “self” and to keep at bay the backlog of the karma we have accumulated, we experience stress, anxiety, and pressure from “the other side,” from the unconscious, from the body. When we continue to wall off the karma arising in each moment, calling us to open, assimilate, and change, we are going to experience a constant struggle with life — a constant conflict with whatever is occurring and a continual war with our own bodies.
from Touching Enlightenment; Finding Realization in the Body