By susanpeabody 06/15/18

Suffering is not something we all agree on. Some people suffer too much. We call them codependents. Others reject suffering at the expense of others. I myself used to have a martyr’s complex. I thought if I suffered I would get closer to God.

Suffering is complicated. Sometimes it is simply a gateway. This is when God allows us to suffer when it is a wake up call about something we need to let go of or learn about. Suffering can bring us closer to God but once we reach out to him the suffering ends and we are happy, joyous, and free.

Suffering is unbearable if we try to do it alone. With friends and faith we will survive.

It is fine to ask God for our suffering to end. Sometimes he agrees. I pray for strength just in case there is some point to my suffering.

In Alcoholics Anonymous I learned that suffering leads to the willingness to give up alcohol and live a sober life. It certainly worked. I was “sick and tired of being sick and tired.”

Try to avoid suffering by making the changes you need to make of your own free will. Accept suffering if there is nothing you can do about it. Run away from suffering if you are codependent. Unless you are dying of cancer, suffering is always temporary. Focus on that.

The serenity prayer sums it up for me . . .

“God grant me the serenity to accept what I cannot change; the courage to change what I can; and the wisdom to know the difference.”

Here is my version . . . God grant me the strength and serenity to accept suffering when there is a good reason for it, and the courage to leave suffering behind if I have a choice. Also the wisdom to know the difference between these two things.

I know these thoughts about suffering are controversial. I went from accepting suffering rather than end my marriage to believing that I would never suffer again. Then I realized that life is full of joy and sorrow and we will experience both. Suffering is not a test. it is just part of the ebb and flow of life on earth.

Many of us like to fantasize about heaven where there is no more suffering. I know I do. But remember that we do not get to heaven by suffering. We get there because God loves us and there is a place for everybody even those who fall short while on earth. This is my situation. So we might as try to get along, as we will see everyone again once we die.

If you find this ridiculous, we will have to agree to disagree. Namaste.

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