The Buddha’s first noble truth was that there is suffering. Suffering is embedded in the nature of the human mind and in life.
Contemporary psychodynamic theory recognizes that a great deal of psychic pain takes shape within our relationship to others. Much of our human suffering arises from relational wounding.
Analogous to mental scar tissue which forms at the site of injury, psychic structure embodies the history of our pain and our attempts to defend against that pain. Self is constructed within the matrix of our connection to intimate Others.
Relational wounds are complex, transmitted from generation and enacted in painful human dramas of involving love, hate, blame, resentment, greed, rivalry, conflict, heartbreak, betrayal, jealousy, and war (among other themes). These complex threads of human drama create the intricate emotional tapestry of our lives and the structure of our subjective world.
Our relationships are the building blocks of who we become and who we take ourselves to be. Overinvested and/or unwise identifications with Self gives rise to suffering.