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Why Do We Have To Suffer So Much?

on Tue, 04/19/2011 - 01:45

We all have to suffer. It’s a very cold hearted fact of life but, as the popular saying goes, “it is what it is.”

          Everyone- from the sweetest little boy to the oldest and kindest lady, has to suffer. No one escapes the losses, hardships, sickness and death. The long and short of it is, if we live here in this world, we suffer.

          Why do we have to suffer? There is an inward and outward spiritual reason for suffering. Suffering is supposed to build your character, helping to make you a stronger and better person. Through your suffering you should become kinder and more considerate of the sufferings of others.

          Although we have to experience suffering, we don’t want our suffering to be for naught. How do we find something positive in such a strong negative? Keep in mind my “feel, see, remember and look” mantra.

1.Feel Your Pain. Feel the pain you are experiencing, really feel it. One big mistake made by many is to use something to numb the pain—pills, alcohol, food, an unhealthy relationship, excessive shopping, gambling, etc. Really feel what you’re going through. By feeling the pain, you actually become stronger while going through the suffering. You may not believe it at first, but others will notice it about you.

2. See the Good in the Bad. See something -any good thing about your suffering. If the suffering is a loved one who is very ill, for example, maybe the illness has brought the two of you very close together even if it’s just for a short time.

3. Remember, suffering is not forever. Know that whatever you are experiencing at some time, it has to come to an end. All things—good and bad must pass- no exceptions.

4. Lookoutside yourself; like Sally in the following story.

Sally’s Suffering

                 Sally had so many losses within a short period of time. She lost her mom, she lost a child and her husband died suddenly. Sally felt so alone, so numb, and at times, she felt no longer able to cope.

                 One day Sally realized she’d been looking too much “inwardly” and not enough outside of herself. If she was going to heal and move on, her suffering had to be for some reason. She decided she had to reach out to help others.

                 Sally did an assessment on herself to think about her own character strengths and how they could be useful to others.  She thought that by volunteering at a hospice center, even for just a few hours a week, her life would have more meaning. Since Sally was warm, kind and had experienced so many of life’s transitions herself, she’d be a great comfort to a patient and to the family members who were experiencing a major life transition.  

                 Instead of always feeling so sad and so numb, Sally began to feel and look better. She couldn’t wait for the weekends for her volunteer work.

                 Sally met and cared for so many people and everyone who met her loved her.  For Sally, the volunteer work not only helped with overcoming her own grief, it made her appreciate her own talents and gifts she never realized she had.

                 If you’re not experiencing or never experienced a major negative life transition, you will. Remember, like Sally, to “feel, see, remember and look.”

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