Listen to the audio version of “Learning to Honor Suffering”

If you are doing something to avoid pain, then pain is running your life. 

Quote by Michael Singer

Darkness naturally exists as a divine polarity to light. Yet many people spend their lives desperately fighting and/or building walls to evade it.

The irony is, no matter how hard we try, we cannot avoid darkness.

Life itself is a flowing dance between light and dark. But instead of dancing with the darkness that asks for our hand, we label it, avoid it, push it down, and barrel forward.

When you look around, it’s as if most people are running from darkness so fast that they miss the experience of what it is to really be alive. They run right past the grace that comes with sitting amidst suffering and accepting it for what it is.

The experience of suffering is here to help us thrive, and it’s calling out for us to take its hand and dance. 

This post runs through how to honor, flow with, respect, and love suffering.

Suffering is Here For us

Pain happens. Negative feelings and experiences happen.

We fail and feel hopeless. We act poorly and feel ashamed. We are told no by someone who we desperately needed a yes from. We get criticized for shining our light, and it makes us want to shrivel up inside and never shine again.

And although pain, suffering, disappointments, and failures are natural, they far too often become the codes for how we live our lives rather than the fertile soil to plant our seeds in and grow from.

Instead of believing in our power to feel pain, learn from it, and transmute it, we experience suffering and then use all of our energy to build an armor of defense against it.

The problem is, this armor not only blocks the dark from getting in, it also prevents the light from flowing in and out as well.

The armor we thought was protecting us turns into a prison of our own confinement. And it turns us into a shell of who we really are.

We build such strong armor to protect ourselves, that when our divine light tries to hit that armor and break free, it causes intense suffering inside as we fight to keep our armor intact. We cannot break our walls, because… what if we get hurt again?

Painful experiences do not have to become our armor.

These experiences and feelings can all become passing memories that aid in our soul’s evolvement.

Suffering is necessary. It is helpful. But it should only be a town we visit and not a place we build our home in.

Just as we are meant to love and honor all aspects of life, we are also meant to love and honor suffering. And though we love it, we are not meant to dwell with the emotions that are acknowledged there. We are only meant to go there for the emotions to teach us how they can be transmuted.

There does come a point where you can evolve past the need to learn lessons through suffering, but it only comes after a radical acceptance of what suffering is. It cannot come before learning to dance with suffering. Evolving past learning lessons through suffering is when you are one with the delicate dance between light and dark.

The Universe is Alive and Flowing, and We Should Be Too

In this Universe, everything is alive and moving. Nothing is solid and sturdy like our mind thinks it is. Everything that exists is a combination of moving particles of invisible energy. Said simply, everything (even ’empty’ space) is full of moving energy.

Even the device you are reading this through, if broken down to the smallest atoms and viewed in a microscope, it is not a solid device. In quantum terms, it is not even really there. It is only there because collective conscious energy has observed it into existence. (pg 87 Biology of Belief by Bruce Lipton)

The point is, our Universe is alive and moving. Since energy must keep moving, change is the only real constant we can rely on. We suffer when we resist this truth, because to live is to let energy flow freely.

To exist in this world without being in a perpetual state of suffering, we must stop resisting the flowing of positive and negative energy. They are both to be accepted and honored as a natural part of what it is to be alive.

As the river flows and is never the same river as it was before, so should our minds flow, never being the same mind as it was in the moment before.

The tool that enables us to flow with the Universe is so simple and inherent that we often overlook it.

It is so natural to us that we are all already masters at it. 

The tool is our breath. And the practice of mindful breathing is the discipline that gives us the power to flow with how life needs to flow.

With each breath in, you can breathe in new energy and positive emotions. With each breath out, you can breathe out stagnant energy and negative emotions.

We are living with life-force energy flowing in, around, and through us at all times. As human beings, we are graced with the opportunity to use mindful breathing to choose the energy that we want to flow through us. We do not have to live in a survival/reactive mode. We can think, consider, and choose the energy we wish to create and live by.

With consistent practice of breathing in the new and letting go of the old, you learn to flow like the river; becoming anew in every moment, with every breath.

Add in the practice of observing the breath flow, and you are then graced with the power to create the environment in which the river flows through.

It’s important to note that you are not changing the water that flows. The water is natural, and it will flow whether the riverbank wants it to or not. But you can change the environment in which the river flows. I.e., you can change your mental association with the events happening. You can choose to accept happenings with grace or fight them with anger. The choice you make will dictate your level of suffering (i.e., the environment in which the river flows)

This is how you learn to dance in the balancing of light and dark. But it is impossible to hear the music if darkness is not as loved and revered as light is.

The Gift of Our Mirror-verse 

The Universe is a mirror of us, allowing us to look around and learn what needs to be healed inside.

The gift in this, is that we can see and feel what it is to live a life of darkness, and what it is to live a life of light.

If we’ve never seen darkness, then what would light be? It would just be… It would not be savored or appreciated, it would be an unknown constant. 

Imagine if there were no polarity of light and dark and no mirror-verse to show us the consequence of our actions? How would we know how to live in a way that helps our souls, as well as the collective, thrive?

For example, the Universe is filled with other things that are directly affected by the decisions we make. How can we know when we are harming another person, animal, or thing without the Universe mirroring back a sense of suffering inside and outside?

This mirror-verse we live in is such a gift. It’s a beautiful gift full of endless opportunities to ascend who we once were.

If you are confused as to why you are suffering, know that you can always look at what you experience in your day. Do you experience loving relationships, an abundance of money, passion, and creativity? What are your habits like, are they producing results that lead you to suffering, or lead you to love?

Our external expression of who our current personality is, creates the world we experience.

Because of our mirror-verse, we can always trust the reality of our lives to show us where we need to heal inside.

You are not suffering by mistake. You are repeating habits, thoughts, emotions, that are not in congruence with helping your soul and/or the collective thrive.

Remember, with every in-breath, there is an opportunity for a new life. With every out-breath, there is an opportunity for a death of the old.

When the mirror-verse is providing us with suffering, it can be challenging to accept responsibility of that reality.

But, taking responsibility for the state of our lives is how we transcend the suffering loop.

Suffering is a blessing to help our souls evolve in this earth-school. It is in the darkness, that we come to know the light of our being.

Suffering is the Universe tapping us on the shoulder and letting us know we have gone the wrong way. When we look around and only see destruction surrounding us, the mirror-verse is telling us to retreat inside and heal the destruction inside of us. It is letting us know there is a better way, we just need to trust, redirect, and get on course again.

Suffering is Not a Punishment

The longer we suffer, the longer we can see that we have lived a life that was not in alignment with our soul.

I am not disregarding the fact that, sometimes, sh!t happens. Horrible things happen to good people who fall into passing with a collective (negative) energy. Regardless of what happens, it is you who chooses whether to suffer through it or not. Suffering is always a representation of being unaligned with our souls.

With the great mirror-verse of a Universe we live in, we can witness and see our level of alignment by looking at our daily experiences.

I can feel ancient holders of wisdom speaking about this, and I can feel how the word “sin” was misinterpreted.

Many western religions depict sin as wrongdoing that we must repent for.

The translation of the ancient word sin, was for an archer to miss the mark. So to sin means he just veered off course a little…

We are not punished with suffering because we sin. The Universe is a mirror, but it is not vindictive. It compassionately reciprocates the energy we give, back to us. So when we miss the mark, we will feel the effects of missing the mark at the equal level of intensity as to how far we missed.

Missing the mark is not something to be ashamed of. We are all in this life school together. And missing the mark is what teaches us to correct our form and give it another try.

If we wallow over our miss, and we obsess over why we missed, we will miss the next opportunity to hit the bullseye.

If we wallow over someone’s missed arrow that scathes us, we might get hit by another arrow because we were too busy wallowing to get out of the way.

Suffering is always an opportunity to heed the advice of the Universe.

Consider that your suffering is the Universe is attempting to speak directly to you. It is telling you that the actions you are taking, the habits you have, or the beliefs you carry are no longer serving you.

It’s calling out for you to dig deeper so you can alchemize these feelings that are creating a discord between your current personality and your soul’s purpose.

Suffering is always a teacher, but we must hold the belief that this is true to allow the lessons to come through to us.

When We Allow Suffering to Come and Go, We Transcend its Ability to Take Over Our Being

There are a couple of variables that must be in place for us to transcend suffering’s grip on us.

  • We must train our minds to first accept and love thoughts, and then let them pass by.
  • We must learn to love emotions, honor them, and appreciate them whether they are good or bad. We must treat them like guides that are here to teach us.
  • We must believe, at the core, that suffering is our teacher. We must surrender to its lessons, so we can learn what it is trying to say.
  • When suffering asks us to dance, we must grab its hand and dance in the delicate play of light and dark. 
  • We must understand that “transcending suffering” does not mean living in a perpetual state of love and light where dark does not exist. It is an awareness and acceptance of the dark, so for it to not overcome our being when it arrives. This awareness and acceptance empower us to transmute suffering more gracefully with time.

With the intention to serve you to the best of my ability, I am going to share the inner-dialogue I use when I feel a sense of suffering.

Unfortunately, this is where words become difficult. Because there is no “controlled process” to transmute suffering. I will attempt to share a process that works for me, but again, there is no controlled process.

I will share what I do in the hopes that you read it with your heart and create your own dialogue that leads you to an energy shift.

More important than the words, are the feelings that the words invoke inside.

The Universe does not speak the language of the mind. It communicates in energy, so we must make sure our energy is aligned with that of which we desire to feel.

The process I share below helps me feel acceptance, love, openness, compassion, patience, and trust. When you read this, try to feel it, not think it.

And remember, you have deep wisdom within that knows exactly how to handle all moments with peace and grace. Your wisdom is sitting inside, waiting to be unlocked. When you are ready, your own way will flow through you.

Declaration to transmute suffering

How I transmute suffering while still learning the lessons I’m meant to learn:

I first let my anxiety, pain, or fear know that I see it, and I am open to listening.

I thank it for showing me an area in which I need to transmute energy that is no longer serving my highest good.

I let it know that no matter how uncomfortable it might be, I am open to changing, shifting, and growing wherever I am meant to.

I let it know that I love it, that I know how wise it is, that I am sorry for blocking its initial warning signs, and that if I still cannot hear it, to then first teach me how to let it come through so I can hear what it has to say.

I thank it.

I apologize for not listening closely enough for it to have to make me feel pain to get my attention.

I let it know I honor it, I love it, and I let it know that I am going to let it be until it is ready to tell me what it needs to.

And this is very literal, but if I still do not feel released from the energy of pain, I physically move my body. I go for a walk, get up and dance- I move my body and let it know I am assisting it in creating the clarity to speak to me.

Feel free to use your voicenotes and record your voice saying this outloud. Play it back when you feel suffering:

To my suffering, I see you, and I am open to listening to what you have to tell me. Thank you for trying to show me an area of my personality that no longer serves me. No matter how uncomfortable it might be for me, I am open to changing and shifting wherever I am meant to. I love you, I know how wise you are, and I am sorry for blocking your initial warning signs. If I still cannot hear you, please first teach me how to listen. Thank you. I love you. I appreciate you. I am accept you. I am here for you. And so it is.

This is an example of a declaration you can repeat when feeling a sense of suffering. Please do make it your own. PRO TIP: record it in your voice with an inspiring song playing in the background and replay it when you are feeling pain.

In this process, I take suffering’s hand, and I dance with it. I love it, hold it, swing it around, and sometimes it loves me, it holds me, and it swings me around.

Miraculously, this little practice lets feelings of suffering flow through me. It lets me dance with the yin and yang of life, and life shows me, time and time again, what needs to be done to continue this dance of love.

To be super clear: I do not focus on releasing it, I focus on feeling it, accepting it, and I simply let it be, which ironically releases the feelings from having a grip over me.

I know at my core that the suffering is there to teach me, but I am at peace because I love and trust it to tell me what I need to know precisely when I need to know it.

Then, when it is fully accepted and then released from having a grip over me, the answers come. The dance is complete, and the show is over for now.

But the critical thing note is that these feelings do not take my life over. They do not spill out into other areas of my life, hurting those around me. I do not assume I am depressed because I am suffering. I do not overanalyze the pain. I do not look for another to blame the pain on. I know I am here to learn, and I know my soul lessons are mine to take responsibility of.

From the bottom of my heart, I hope this serves you the way it has served me.

Let us Take Responsibility of Our Power as Human Beings

All emotions and thought patterns, even lower vibrational ones, like anger, drama, blame, are highly addictive to us, and for a good reason too.

We are creatures of habit, and this ability is why we can learn to walk once and never again.

But we have lost sight of responsibility for this power.

When we repeat actions, habits, thoughts, beliefs; these things add up to who we are and how we contribute to this planet and all life around us.

So, if we know that emotions and thoughts are not only addictive, but are also forces of creation, the question becomes, how can we shift our emotions to those of love, compassion, patience, grace, and a reverence for all life?

If we know that how we view suffering is causing us to lose sight of its true meaning, how can we shift our beliefs about why suffering exists?

So, this is for you, my love.

I commend you for being a powerful soul, taking responsibility for how your energy contributes to your life and the life of those around you.

So, how can you choose differently right now? How can you step into your responsibility as a human being to handle your energy, and how can you feel more empowered to master the lessons you are here to master?

How can you take the hand of your suffering and learn to dance with it?

You are more powerful than you know. I thank you for reading, and I hope you can feel the power and love I am currently sending your way.

Written and read by: Sarah Cirigliano

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