The Bliss Blog

The Bliss Blog


Is Suffering Necessary?

Edie Weinstein

I am on the flip side of a week’s worth of a messy, painful, not much fun bout with shingles. A week ago, my left eye was prize-fighter swollen, my skin was peeling off my face, I had a chisel to the skull, scalp burning and tingling pain on the left side of my head. Getting out of bed was an ordeal and there I rested and rejuvenated for several days, dosed with meds and showered with love and prayers. A week later, I am almost good as new. My eye is fully functioning, my appearance presentable with only minor head ouchies. I attribute my rapid recovery to all of the above and to my strong intention and knowledge that “I’ll see it when I believe it,” since I have been affirming that “I see my way clear to complete and total wellness.”

When I posted this on Facebook, one of my friends had commented that some people suffer with shingles for weeks or months and that it was remarkable that I had bounced back so quickly. My answer was that I “straight out refused to suffer.” I find that pain is inevitable in our lives, because we are human and have pain receptors in our bodies, but suffering is optional. She queried about how to address the genuine suffering of people who endure chronic conditions.

I can’t speak for anyone else’s experience but my own. With compassion, I acknowledge that others do experience suffering and struggle. My husband was ill for 6 years with Hepatitis C, neuropathy, chronic pain and bouts of depression as a result. When he died, there was a sense of relief that he was no longer suffering. I felt helpless at times to assist in his healing. In my role as a therapist I have worked with clients who have all types of mental health diagnoses and addictions and sometimes I have felt the same way, that all I could do is be present and witness their process and walk through it with them. I take a page from Victor Frankl who said “Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”

Each person’s experience is unique to them. I know that I experience suffering when I believe that something painful or unpleasant is never going to change or maybe even get worse. Byron Katie says that when she believes her thoughts, she suffers and when she doesn’t believe her thoughts, she doesn’t suffer. I don’t mean for it sound flip or cavalier. One of the things I learned from my parents was resilience. I have come to accept that I have survived everything that has ever happened in my life and so has everyone else. Like any other situation, this one has made me stronger and more flexible and resilient.

How do you define suffering?

How do you move through it?



Previous Posts

Sexpot With Stretchmarks
Imagine having your own personal cheerleader who enthusiastically reminds you that you are gorgeous, worthy, creative, brilliant and loveable. Would you believe her? Would you say "Who are you kidding? I'm overweight, under-paid, over worked and under-played." Jenny G. Perry is a Renaissance Woma

posted 10:35:58am Jan. 29, 2015 | read full post »

How Do You Create A Life That You Love?
  One of the most essential questions you can ask yourself,  is the one presented in the title of this article. We have a choice to experience an existence that takes us from the day of our birth to the day of our death, with the 'same old, same old' activities that is about getting by OR w

posted 9:29:54pm Jan. 28, 2015 | read full post »

Is Sleep Highly Over-rated?
    I had long believed and expressed that sleep was highly over-rated whenever someone would ask how I managed to maintain what I called a 'crazy-busy' schedule that included a full time job, several over-lapping consulting jobs, raising a child as a single parent after being widowe

posted 9:08:03am Jan. 28, 2015 | read full post »

The Gift of Vulnerability
A quote from one of my favorite books has set the stage for an ongoing process in my life. The Velveteen Rabbit is a tale of a little boy whose toys dispense wisdom to each other,  the child and the reader of this classic. The rabbit, who is a bit insecure and wondering if the tot will favor him, a

posted 10:17:06am Jan. 26, 2015 | read full post »

On the Elevator
  Yesterday I received a surprise in the mail. It was a tiny pocket sized book called Back To Joy that was compiled by author June Cotner. It contains tidbits of wisdom from the likes of Anne Lamott, John Welwood, Winston Churchill, Helen Keller, Rachel Carson, Og Mandino and someone else wh

posted 9:26:51pm Jan. 24, 2015 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.