How to Stop the Suffering of the Soul

The Haunting Question “Is this it?”

I’ve experienced much undo suffering over the last couple weeks.  Haunted by the question “Is this it?” Perhaps it’s a stage of life thing, a transitions thing or something else entirely. I don’t know. All I know for sure is that my lifelong professional dream aspirations don’t appear to be anywhere in sight. And notably, what I’ve learned about ego (false self) over the last six months makes me wonder if there were ever really “my” dreams to begin with.  So if that’s not it, what is? And is it possible that this is it? After a few soul-crushing days contemplating that I realized what was happening.

Things are as they are, we suffer because we imagined different. tweet

Suffering stops by accepting today as it is

At some point, I just have to let go of what I thought should happen and live in what is going on.  Letting go of the good I had imagined, to accept the good that is now. While letting go has many negative connotations, acceptance by definition should be positive.

Accept: to take or receive; receive with approval or favor tweet

Remaining in limbo, neither letting go nor accepting is where the seed of suffering lies. Accepting is where growth happens, where the good is, and where the self-imposed anguish dissipates. In pondering my need to accept, I found six critical things to consider.

A – Acknowledge

Acknowledge the loss. Letting go involves loss. More importantly, acknowledge the emotions and feelings of letting go. Suppression of them will only guarantee their return later.

C – Create Contentment

Ultimately, the suffering does not end until there is contentment. Comfort is found in the moment and by the repeated appreciation of common everyday blessings.

C – Choose Joy

Choose joy as your measure of success.  While I may never have the career I had imagined I still find great joy in writing and inspiring others. Each day I choose to write, I choose joy. The joy isn’t in the resulting career the joy is in the showing up and doing it.

E – Experience What is

In essence, we suffer when we cling to what was, our expectations or resist what is.  We spend too much time looking at what we are giving up instead of looking at all we have to gain by living today, at this very moment.

P – Peace

Gandi once said, “there is no path to peace. Peace is the path.” When we find our self-suffering from lack of acceptance we have chosen to stop and wallow in our self-imposed misery.  Acceptance is standing up and moving forward along the path of peace.

Time – Time

Time doesn’t heal everything but acceptance will.  What we resist persists. What we accept no longer has control over us.

Grab your journal; it’s your turn to grow

Take a few moments and reflect on where you are causing undue suffering in your life.

  1. What are you not accepting?
  2. What are the emotions and feelings that need to be expressed in order to let go? How can you express those in a healthy way?
  3. How can you accept what is with favor and approval? Make a list of the good things about your life as it exists today.

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