SUFFERING MEANS VERY DIFFERENT THINGS TO EACH OF US.The first noble truth in Buddhism is “All existence is dukkha (suffering)”.
WE ALL EXPERIENCE SUFFERING – IT IS PART OF THE HUMAN EXPERIENCE.
The other day, I felt a tug to go into a different line at the grocery store and boy am I glad I did! The cashier looked at me as if I had thrown her a lifeline — and actually I did. When it was my turn, she reached out to grab my hand and thank me. The woman in front of me had been so rude to her — and the cashier is suffering the loss of her son a few months ago. She had tears in her eyes as we chatted for just a few moments, me assuring her that I will pray for her and to focus on my smiling face instead of the other woman’s. It was only a few moments, but for at least that brief time, I was able to help lift some of the burden of suffering she is carrying.
This poor woman is suffering the worst loss anyone can experience, and yet here she is, getting out of bed, getting herself to work. That takes real courage – courage she may not even recognize she has.
I was inspired to write about suffering when I was recently a guest on “How to Cope with Life’s Suffering” on WSA-TV with Laura Rubinstein, Jaisa Sulit, and Susan Marquez. Their stories are so inspiring, I hope you will WATCH HERE.
Brave mom Stephanie Decker lost both of her legs while shielding her two children during a deadly tornado in Indiana in March 2012. Doctors told her it would be a year before she could walk with prosthetics. But this strong and courageous mom wasn’t going to let her suffering hold her back. Stephanie was determined to dance with Ellen Degeneres on her TV show. After just two short months, she did! WATCH HERE. She also decided to turn her suffering into hope by creating the Stephanie Decker Foundation to help children with disabilities. She says laughter has helped her.
Throughout history, there are so many examples of people who have overcome their suffering; yet there are an equal number who have not been able to. The $64,000 question is why? Why are some able to rise above their suffering and some are not? A big part of this has to do with mindset. Stephanie Decker said, “There are days that I say ‘this is hard, this hurts’. But all I have to do is take one look at my kids and it’s enough. I wasn’t going to let this stop me”.
“There are days that I say ‘this is hard, this hurts’. But all I have to do is take one look at my kids and it’s enough. I wasn’t going to let this stop me”.
Is a particular mindset something we are born with? NO. Our mindset is shaped by our childhood environment. If we are raised in a family that sees gloom and doom, we will too. The good news is you can choose a different mindset!
I grew up in a toxic environment where my mother saw everything as suffering and scarcity. As I got older and started to work on myself, I began to start choosing a different mindset. By the time I was faced with the biggest challenge/suffering of my life (my husband’s medical crisis), I was able to choose to recognize the challenge, learn from it and rise up. I could have chosen to fall into a pit of despair, yet I chose to let it guide me into a new career – one that I love and that inspires and guides others.
What do you do when suffering knocks at your door?
The first step is to acknowledge it. When we try to ignore or “stuff down “ our emotions, it’s like trying to push a beach ball down in the pool: you know it’s just going to pop up over there! Once you have acknowledged the feelings, you need to learn coping skills to help you move through them. CLICK HERE FOR MY FREE COPING SKILLS GUIDE
The next step is to work on your mindset. A lot of people are big on affirmations – I am not. Here’s why: if deep in your subconscious mind, you believe you will never overcome your suffering, no amount of saying “I’m happy and joyful” is going to make it so. Instead of affirmations, I use Afformations. CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE ABOUT HOW AFFORMATIONS CAN HELP YOU WITH YOUR MINDSET AND SUFFERING.
I’d love to hear your story of how you’ve transformed suffering and how the coping skills and Afformations help you. Please comment below.
If you’d like some 1:1 help with your suffering, CLICK HERE
I highly recommend that you start to use these coping skills and Afformations now – before suffering knocks on your door. It’s a given that it will and if you have a stronger foundation when it does, it will be much easier to deal with.