Stop Suffering Now!
"Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable... Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals."
~Martin Luther King, Jr.
Did you know that suffering is manmade and that we weren't meant to suffer? The Divine intended for us to live in a pain-free world; Spirit designed our universe to coexist in perfect balance - us included! We forget just how much we tend to complicate matters and disrupt the harmony of the universe, which produces suffering in turn. The key to stop suffering is to reevaluate what causes us suffering, and eradicate these elements from our lives. In particular, there's one thing we all do each day that causes us even more distress, and that's living with regret. When we live with regret, our minds constantly carry around a giant suitcase full of past mistakes and negative events. Only by learning to diminish regret and expelling it from our thoughts forever can we also replace suffering with joy.
We've been suffering since the dawn of time; wars and violence, illness and death, injustice and cruelty, these unfortunate components of life have existed since we began to exist on earth long ago. Right now, we are each suffering our own silent pains of the heart: maybe you're out of work and haven't had any luck finding a new job, maybe you've lost a loved one recently, maybe an illness is taking away from your quality of life, or maybe you've been betrayed by someone near and dear to you. Whatever the cause of your suffering may be, it's there, and it's time you get rid of it today.
Throughout life, we turn to many different sources to aid in our suffering: We ask doctors how to cure our physical suffering. We ask priests, rabbis, or other holy men to pray to God to put an end to our suffering. We ask our parents, siblings, or friends for words of wisdom, thoughts, and advice on how to stop suffering. We turn to all these sources during a time of crisis, but do we ever turn to ourselves? Do we ever introspect for answers to our pain? Many times, we are actually the reason for our suffering.
We choose to allow suffering in. We associate ourselves with people whom we know will create suffering or we voluntarily place ourselves in a situation which is bound to cause suffering. Let's learn how suffering can become a word we rarely use:
FROM SUFFERING TO JOY:
THE KEYS TO A HAPPY, HEALTHY LIFE
- 1.) Remember all you've passed through: Take a moment to remember all that you've already been through in life—this isn't the hardest thing to go through! You've overcome so many tough situations and have come out stronger than ever, and this one's no different. Go through all of your past victories in your mind, reminding yourself of your strength and perseverance during each one. In comparison to some of the challenges you've faced before, this challenge should seem small.
- 2.) Re-empower yourself: Just because you're suffering doesn't mean you have to be weak. Think of yourself as having the strength of a lion: nothing can bring you down, you are powerful beyond your imagination. Write down daily journal entries in which you use quotes, short stories, and your own thoughts to illustrate your strength.
- 3.) Count on those who love you: This isn't the time to lock yourself in your room and stay away from the rest of society. This is your time to be around others, and draw on their support. Your loved ones won't let you down; if you feel like crying, don't cry alone, visit a family member or call a good friend to talk. If you feel overwhelmed, take the night off and attend a social gathering where you can laugh, be in good company and forget your worries.
- 4.) Note your daily catalysts: You have so many reasons to carry on; maybe you're a mother, and you love your children more than life itself. Maybe you recently lost a job, but you're a highly qualified person in your field and can easily get a better one. You have hundreds of reasons to go forward with life; this episode shouldn't stop you! Your number one catalyst, though, should be to prove to the person or people who caused your suffering that you are capable of rising from your negative experience and being better than ever before.
- 5.) Plant a seed for every blessing: I want you to go buy a bag of seeds (I'm not joking) and plant them in your backyard, in a park, or in any area that's covered with land. Assign a blessing in your life for each seed you plant. For example, for the first seed you might say "this is for my health, thank God I'm healthy." Or, "My child is my biggest blessing, I'm so lucky to have him." You should plant at least 20 seeds, because you are abundantly blessed and can think of 20 blessings, no matter what you're going through. This exercise is designed to make your blessings grow and multiply; by planting seeds which stand for the ways in which you feel blessed, you're helping your blessings grow, flourish, and multiply in number. Just as your seeds will sprout into the flowers or plants you've put into the ground, so will the blessings you've put out into the universe increase day by day.
- 6.) Compare to years past: You may be going through a rough time, but what were you going through say, 3 years ago, or 6 or 10 years ago. You may have been facing an even tougher challenge, which you came out of safe and sound. Consider that your current suffering is nothing new; you've been through worse in your past and you came out of it unharmed, healed, and stronger than ever before. This time, too, you will emerge from the battle as the winner.
- 7.) Relate to others: One of the easiest ways to quiet your suffering is to relate to the pain of others. You may be going through a breakup, but your neighbor is going through a divorce of 30 years. You may have lost a pet, but there are parents who've lost their children. You're not alone in your tragedy, everyone suffers on a daily basis. And, your suffering is not the greatest; on the contrary, what you're going through is small in comparison to what others have had to face.
- 8.) Go back to square one and undo the suffering: Is it possible that your suffering was caused by your own mistake, or a wrong move on your part? Even if it wasn't, you can still revisit the moment when the trouble started and try to mentally heal it. The key not to remain stuck in your suffering is to go back in time to what caused the suffering, and resolve it one way of another. If you've been fired, write a short letter to your former boss telling them that you don't hold any ill will against them and wish them all the best. Also write this letter to your former partner if you've gone through a breakup or divorce. This will disentangle you from your suffering.
- 9.) Seek Divine help: You shouldn't go at it alone when Spirit if there to nurture you and show you compassion. Whenever you feel weak, say a quick prayer and ask the Divine to show you inspiration for the day. Or, pray every morning when you wake up that today may be better than yesterday. Even if you just want to speak out loud and voice your concerns, Spirit is listening and considering everything you're saying.
- 10.) See beyond the suffering: Don't become stuck in the moment of pain. See beyond this problem; where will you be a year from now? Certainly you won't be in the same place as now, and your issue will be resolved one way or another. Try not to be so caught up in the moment: yes, right now you're in an unpleasant situation, but you're riding the wave of life, and after this is over, you'll be riding high once again.
- 11.) Project the best outcome: If this suffering were to end on an ideal note, how would it end? Imagine every day that your suffering was resolved in the best way possible. Envision with every detail that your pain will go away and that the situation will turn around in the most favorable way for you. Picture that you're walking down a beach in the near future without problems, without worries.
- 12.) Learn your lesson: You have to make sure you don't let this suffering happen again in the future, so learn your lessons now. What is this suffering trying to teach you? What lessons can you learn from it? Now is the time to introspect and figure out exactly what karmic lessons are playing out through your negative experiences. This is also the perfect time to resolve karmic issues so that they don't manifest into suffering again in the future.
- 13.) Be in charge: Just because you're suffering doesn't mean you have to stand by as your emotions destroy you. Now more than ever you should be taking charge of your life and making your own decisions. Don't let others tell you what to do just because you might be feeling indecisive or confused. You know exactly what you need to do to be okay.
- 14.) Don't play the victim: Psychologically speaking, we automatically assume the "victim role" when we're in pain. We think: how could this happen to me? This is completely the wrong mentality, and only makes us more vulnerable and weak. We should instead say to ourselves: "I am not a victim of circumstance, I am strong person who isn't intimidated by anything that happens."
- 15.) Divert your attention: You shouldn't allow yourself to be consumed by your suffering every waking moment. Be sure to do anything and everything which doesn't involve your own pain. Put yourself in different scenarios; go to a movie, a play, or a musical, anything which takes you from your current situation and puts you into a new reality.
- 16.) Engage in your heart's desire: The best way to distract yourself from what's hurting you is to do what you love the most. Engaging in your favorite hobby or passion will ensure you're spending your time as productively as possible while suffering. And, psychologically speaking, this will help your mind make it through the grieving process as quickly as possible. If you love to decorate, try to find a reason to redecorate your home when going through a hard time. If you love to sing, write your own lyrics and turn them into inspirational songs which you sing for friends and family.
- 17.) Heal from the inside out: Your emotional self has been traumatized, and must be mended in order for any progress to be made. Practice inner healing techniques like meditation, prayer, and soothing chants to bring your emotional self back to tranquility.
- 18.) Understand the role of your mentality: Your mind has complete control over you when you're in pain, so it's essential that you adopt the right mentality to have a positive attitude. When you're drowning in a pool of your own misery, you only raise the level of your suffering and attract more in.
- 19.) Practice the wisdom of acceptance: Don't dwell on what you can't change, and remember that the past is the past for a reason. Every morning when you wake up, remind yourself that there is a reason for your suffering, and that the greatest healing force is acceptance. Speak an affirmation like: "I choose to accept what happened, and I know that my wisdom will end my suffering."
- 20.) Make suffering your motivator: To suffer is to experience a very painful emotion, but there is no reason you can't be inspired by your own suffering. Counteract your suffering with a positive deed. If you suffer from an illness, take daily steps to care for your health more than ever before. If you recently went through a divorce, motivate yourself to resume a life that's as normal as possible. Resolve to become inspired by your own suffering.
We think of suffering as a part of life, but it doesn't have to be this way—we can change our lives to shun the negative and bring in the positive, and it all starts with our thinking. Remember: realty reflects what the mind projects. Project only blessings and start manifesting your new, pain-free future today.
Yours in Love and Service,
Dr. Carmen Harra