When life becomes difficult: 4 lessons to ease my suffering

“In a sense, suffering stops suffering the moment it finds meaning.” ~ Viktor Frankl

When life turns sideways, it can be difficult to take a breath again, not to mention finding meaning.

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In the same year, I experienced breast cancer, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and an unwanted divorce. There’s more to talk about (always), but in essence, I’ve lost everything — my health, my love, my home.

During this time, I lost sight of myself and stopped trusting myself. I was convinced that I was responsible for everything.

At the same time, within 24 hours of leaving his favorite house, six friends gave him the keys to his house and said he always had a place to stay. My family appeared for me in a way that made me cry.

Also, during this time, I had two powerful dreams and one still small voice. These three messengers taught me exactly what I need to hear to continue.

My first dream was for someone to cook something delicious in the kitchen. I couldn’t eat what she made because chemotherapy often tastes bad, but I remember the cook saying, “Honey, this recipe has more sugar than salt.” increase.

In other words, lifeThe sweetness is back. Please take your time.

The second dream I had was that I fell deep into the earth and all of my last was burned out. All that remained was a fiercely shining bone.

This dream promised me that something indestructible was deep, and it had to do with fierceness and light.

And that still small voice? Deep inside, no matter what was happening, was this wise and quiet me who refused to hurt me. What does that mean?

I knew I needed something to survive, but I knew this had to be deliberate about how I chose to survive. I didn’t want to make myself worse, I wanted to make myself better.

I started writing and recording mini meditations. I called them “hits of hope”. My friend said that the best place to record was in the closet, so I sat on my shoes and talked to the phone. I named the pain using my voice and words. When To convince myself that things will get better.

Every human has pain and trauma. Whatever human beings would rather avoid would happen to them. But as long as we are alive, we can know that life will turn sideways. We suffer in many ways, big and small. So it’s hard to say this, why It is irrelevant that suffering occurs. The only question we can answer on our own is how we choose to be in the midst of pain and suffering.

There are still days when the emotional bus can hunt me down, and I learned a few things along the way while I made more mistakes than my fair share on my recent trip.

1. Fundamental narcissism and emotional recovery are the first orders of business when there are big and unruly life events.

When you are hurt, place a figurative gas can or salt or knife. Do not make the fire bigger or make the wound deeper than before.

What does that mean? Make the choice to keep your head clear, the choice to keep your body and mind safe.

For example, a friend who divorced at the same time was told by his best friend that he was “drunk and stayed for three months.” It may help paralyze the pain, but such behavior only causes more problems in the long run. Adopting journaling, yoga, or other forms of self-care is much more healing.

Also, don’t hit me if you get messed up. Can you admit how you contributed to the situation? Of course, think of yourself as a child in the playground. More reprimands and finger shakes usually do little to help the situation. Often it is an ancient hug needed to stop tears. So, concentrate, calm down, and build up a lot of love for your injured self.

2. You will feel all the ounces of what you are feeling.

Don’t be ashamed of your feelings. The Buddhist concept is related to this: the first and second darts. The first darts are emotions (sadness, fear, anger), and since we are humans, it is right and good to let those emotions flow to us.

The second dart is our reaction to our emotions. Why do I always do this? If I were a better person … You know the drill Feel your feelings. That way, your feelings will rise and flow away, leaving you calm and clear.

3. You don’t have time to lose, but you don’t have to hurry.

What does that mean? That bold statement does not mean that you need to fly into mania or panic mode, but there is no such thing as a life-threatening illness to remind people that this is important now. In fact, this is the only time you can definitely get it. “You never know what’s coming,” friends often say.

The idea is to live perfectly every day. Daily decisions that bring you the most joy and the most joy to make small choices. This means starting the novel or business, calling a missing friend, riding a bike or yoga mat, or climbing the mountain to yodel until the grizzly responds and returns. May be done.

Simply put, there is no decision to magically trick us into a good life for the rest of the time one day. There are small options to sum up — and either lead us in a more perfect direction or keep tearing us up little by little.

4. Meaning helps us survive.

This last one was pointed out by Viktor Frankl, a survivor of the four Nazi death camps. In the worst case, finding meaning may seem almost impossible, but doing so is essential. This is where the reason is important.

When life strikes, you can easily ask, “What’s the point?” Feeling drifting. Not bound. The wind and waves shook like this, threatening to drag you down.

You have to find your reason, your meaning, your sense of purpose and intent. What can i do —you— Does it make life richer, richer, more vibrant and lively?

For me, thinking about the active voice was helpful. I wanted to move, create, heal, and serve.

What did this look like? As I exercise every morning, I felt strongly about my body. Then I sat down and wrote meditation and lost the joy of doing something creative. This process not only healed my own spirit of suffering, but also wanted others to do so. When I posted them, I did so with the intention of having them serve others.

If you’re having a hard time finding your meaning, look at your life. What do you do to do something you lose time, you get lost? It’s a great indicator of what often makes sense to you. Or what makes you feel better when you’re done? How can you incorporate it into your life more?

If you’re still struggling, ask a friend to help you with your brainstorming. Or take a walk and wander your mind with your feet. Your mind often needs time, space, and quietness to speak deeply to you.

This may sound like fluffy advice, but it’s not.As Frankl famously said, “He [or she or they] Those who have a reason to live can endure almost any way. “

For clarity, this is not easy and does not occur in a day, a week, a month, or even a year. But with the right conditions, good things are much more likely to happen.

Last week I happened to be sitting on the front porch. When I stood up and brewed tea, I saw an orchid in the front window.

A friend gave me it before I started chemotherapy. I see it every morning when I go inside and write, but it was the first time I saw it from the outside. From this new perspective, I was able to see a collection of buds pressed against the window, which is the direction in which the light hits.

When I sat in a leather chair, the flowers were soon completely hidden by pots and leaves.

The orchid provided me with a message like my dream. Those flowers showed me a deep and deep truth: sometimes the flowering is on the other side.

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