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

Pass It Onword
Back in November, as I was meandering the aisles at the Mind Body Spirit Expo in King of Prussia, PA, I came to a booth at which two women were beaming beatifically. In front of them was a table of simple wares. Stones engraved with a word-  gratitude, strength, inspire, forgive, and kindness, we

posted 6:55:55pm Dec. 18, 2014 | read full post »

How We Grieve
  "When my Guru died in 1973, I assumed that because of the important part he played in my life, and the love I felt for him, I would be inundated with grief. Surprisingly, I was not. In time, I came to realize why. He and I were so well established in Soul love that, in the years since he l

posted 1:24:56pm Dec. 16, 2014 | read full post »

Recovering Human Doing
Lounging in bed, surrounded by lots of pillows and snuggled under quilts as I am typing these words. It is a drowsy, dozy Sunday morning. The radio is playing easing into my day tunes.  My standard weekend fare begins with Sleepy Hollow on WXPN which is a Philly based member supported Public Radio

posted 8:56:41am Dec. 14, 2014 | read full post »

Profoundly Honest
"We must learn to be profoundly honest."-Panache Desai Wise words from one of the most engaging speakers I have had the pleasure of hearing. Back in 2011, I attended the Celebrate Your Life Conference in Phoenix, Arizona. I had not, at that point, known of the British born teacher who exudes a s

posted 8:51:37am Dec. 12, 2014 | read full post »

Thriving Artist
Last night, I attended a holiday gathering for a group of talented artists, writers, publishers, radio hosts, producers, as well as PR and marketing folks. Needless to say, I was in my idea of heaven. The Center City Philadelphia Restaurant where it was held is called Bliss. What a perfect place for

posted 10:50:24am Dec. 10, 2014 | 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.