Posted by Tamie on Tuesday, May 6, 2008

I have a hard time accepting my own suffering and the suffering in the world. Suffering feels so forsaken, lonely, abandoned and Godless. The news recently has announced some evil, unbelievable instances of abuse, imprisonment, murder—my heart is heavy. How can I just go about my daily life in light of such happenings? It feels as if I’m mocking their suffering when I allow myself to enjoy my kids or indulge in a good meal or a dose of sunshine.

But it also isn’t right to go about life sorrowful and melancholy and negative. So here is my question: how do I suffer without feeling forsaken and how do I show appropriate compassion for those who suffer?

I continue to seek answers but have had a few insights. First of all, I have to accept suffering as a good thing. I can only experience health and happiness to the extent that I experience suffering. And this takes faith. Our fullness of joy won’t truly come until the eternities.

So, suffering ultimately opens the door to true joy. But suffering also gives us humility (shows us how weak we are), compassion (allows us to help others who suffer), and if we can keep our faith then when we are delivered we are stronger IN THE LORD. I say in the Lord because we probably won’t feel stronger ourselves. We may feel defeated, disoriented, disappointed—anything but strong. But in the right perspective, we are stronger because the Lord now has a more powerful tool, in us. We become a tool, ironically, to help alleviate a bit of suffering.

If we don’t learn how to suffer then it will be difficult to do much alleviating for others. I love to find every way possible out of suffering. I’ve had another horrible case of strep throat this weekend. One night I decided just accept it and stop being so distraught over how much pain I felt. Easy to say? Well, I focused on taking deep breaths to help my body. I’ve been reading about the healing power of touch. We can access pressure points (energy locks—people call them all sorts of things) to help our bodies flush toxins and rebalance.

Sidetrack: This whole world is opening up to me that makes so much sense. Kind of like I’ve always known this stuff but didn’t really know what it meant. When our body suffers, it needs help from our mind and spirit. When our Spirit or mind suffers, it needs help from the body. I’ve often found myself frustrated that I couldn’t “think my way out” of a problem. “Just stop thinking that way” I’d tell myself but it just wouldn’t work. Well, I love exploring this new idea that by touch and breathing and probably all sorts of other physical means we can help it along. There’s a reason why working up a sweat, taking a warm bath or sitting in the sunshine affects our mood. There’s also a reason Satan doesn’t want us to make a connection between our bodies, minds and Spirits. If he can get us to discredit an act as something “purely physical” or "purely mental" then it doesn’t seem like such a sin. We know how crucial the body is to the spirit because of temple work. Okay, I’m meshing too many thoughts together. It just all makes a lot of sense to me and I’m excited about the possibilities.

Anyway, back to the strep night. When I would cough I would imagine the cough as helping to get the sickness out rather than just being annoying. Maybe that’s it—I stopped being annoyed with my body and acknowledged that all the pain probably had a purpose. If I would submit and help then I could get over the sickness better and maybe even faster.

The result? I felt more at peace—at least figuratively “carried in the arms of angels” although it could have been literal and I didn’t see them. I had suffered well, for a few hours at least. I hope to do better next time! And I hope these jumbled thoughts may be of use to someone out there who may also be suffering. I hope to find more ways to help alleviate suffering and would love to hear your ideas.

Comments (1)

hey tami i am sorry to here about the suffering but just remember the test put in front of you are that a test and the lord DOES TRULY KNOW how much you can handle so the suffering is only small piece of work for you too work through, you can do it. hey look at our blog we had Dylan and we need to get together we miss you and the family tell Ryan I (rob ) says Hi!

Posted June 16, 2008 at 9:24 PM by Blogger Rob n Em