Study Your Suffering

I was suffering. It was neither in the form of a starving child nor did it look like a nation of people who were displaced by war, but it was still suffering. It ached. It filled my belly with pains and my eyes with salty tears. No matter how good I have it, my suffering was/is still suffering. 

I admit that it is hard to acknowledge my suffering for several reasons:

  • My friends are having fun-in-the-sun July vacations while I am not.
  • No one else is calling out their summertime sadness, so why should I?
  • I have too many good things in my life to dare use that ‘s’ word.
  • News shows that more innocent people are horrific suffering, so whatever I’m going through seems like a breeze.

If you have been like me, denying or downplaying suffering due to any of the reasons above (or reasons not mentioned), I want to encourage you to embrace what’s really going on–get curious and find THE TRUTH. How do you find the truth in suffering? YOU LEAN RIGHT INTO IT. I know that sounds awful, but consider this:

When we open to suffering, inquiring into it instead of trying to deny it, we see how we might make use of it in our lives…Turning toward our suffering…means that no part of ourselves or our experience can be left out: not the joy and wonder, nor the pain and anguish.

So my question to you is:

What is your suffering trying to tell you?

Dive in. Deal with the discomfort. Study it like a scientist. Create a hypothesis, break out the microscope, grab a pen to take notes, and run a few tests. 
At some point in the suffering lab, you’ll get so focused and still that the answer(s) will show up. It might be in the form of an inner critic, God, or the deepest part of You.
If it helps, the following truths came out in my “GET REAL” voice:
  • I continued to compare my life to others’ lives (the social media versions).
  • I lost patience with where I was in relation to my business goals.
  • I realized that I’ll never live up to my mother’s standards of maintaining a clean home (and if I did, I would sacrifice my limited and precious me+family time).

Even though I felt shame from the depths of my discoveries, I received an invoice for overdue peace. With line items that included refunds for clarity and relief, I felt intact enough to close the suffering tab. It was time to shift my views because I actually had the power to change the future billing cycle of my thoughts and behaviors! 

The strain of suffering is quite unpleasant, but if you take the time to study it, you’ll get clear, get powerful, and go on to possibly do something about it. 

Please reach out if you need support. 
Coach Shanita

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