To live is to suffer. It is a part of the experiential cycle of our existence. No one is spared. How you respond to your suffering is what is important and what differentiates winners from whiners.
Some people respond to their travail with a “woe is me” persona. They become martyrs and blame God and everyone/everything under the sun for their difficult times. Others will praise God and say it is not for us mere mortals to understand God’s plan for us as He puts suffering on our plate. (It is amazing to me how people “use” God to
explain both sides of the coin. Personally I do not believe that a God of Love causes pain and suffering to carry out a plan. I do believe, however, Spirit is available to work through the suffering. Enough theology for now. Let the preachers put their own spin on it – as diverse as they are depending on their own belief, denomination, etc…)
So, what is your response to suffering, your own or of those you love? Attitude is a choice. What is yours? A few suggestions, if I may.
1. Optimism is a better choice. You can be better or bitter. “For every door that closes, a door of opportunity opens”. Your suffering can serve as a catalyst for change. New personal growth can come with a revised perspective and mission in life.
2. Grieve: Own and feel your pain. Don’t deny it or stuff it. It will end up hurting you more in the long run. You need to feel it to heal it.
3. Your own suffering can enable you to have more empathy and compassion for others.
4. Recognize and stop self imposed suffering. Some people find perverse pleasure in creating and wallowing in their own pain. It becomes a “comfortable” place to be.
5. Find people who are available and capable to support you in your time of trial. To reach out and accept other peoples’ caring for you is important. You need and deserve it.
6. Count the blessings you do have and appreciate them.
7. Find a role model, advisor, and/or therapist that you can learn from for your next step.
8. Find and keep a sense of humor wherever possible. You might be surprised where you might be able to experience humor.
9 Utilize prayer, meditation, and silence as sanctuaries of comfort.
10. Commit to some growthful and loving action. Good can come out of suffering.
The Recovery community has a wonderful saying that I focus on often: “Just do the next right thing.” It helps keep you on path.
Kahlil Gibran has a wonderful saying in THE PROPHET: “Your capacity for joy will be determined by the space that pain has hollowed out in you.” Some people have a greater capacity for joy than others.
For those of you in a state of suffering, I offer my caring and empathy. I hope the above suggestions can assist you in moving forward and creating some goodness out of the pain you suffer.