Pain and Suffering Toward Enlightenment

For the past seven months, I have been numb…as I walked in the desert alone – in silence and prayer or meditation. I have come to know God in a renewed way; as I took this path on a contemplative journey. The pain and suffering of losing yet one more relationship at 59, took a hold of me and wouldn’t let go. Realizing, that once again, I had given up on myself while trying to please them and one more time being blamed. This time something completely made up and fabricated to get rid of me. It was the straw that broke the camel’s back and yet, while I hoped to get an apology and for the nightmare to be over, I began to realize, month by month, this was just not going to come.

In the meantime, I listened to the pain and suffering of others as I tried very hard to stay strong for me and for them. My business suffered tremendously through this struggle as I made mistakes with accounting in my now flourishing company. I lost clients along the way who could not stick with me and felt the energy from my suffering. I kept clients who could join with me and realized they were not alone – not consciously necessarily but in an unconscious way. Neither were wrong for doing what they did, as we all have to find the fit that works for us. At the same time, the IRS refuses to take my money or record this and so for several months my accountant and I have been trying to prove that I don’t owe them $10K when they keep saying I do. Cancelled checks have been sent and phone calls have been made but still they send me final notices and threats. More punishment from the pandemic and people who are not allowed to work at their desks and must sit at home with their children and their spouses or all alone. Needless to say, this has been one hell of a rollercoaster ride.

While I struggled, I used Insight Timer and Daily Om to help me along the way. On IT, I listened to Maria Gullo on Sundays, from time to time, and took the Law of Attraction workshop once again from Carrie Suwal. The music of the Wong Janice uplifted me as she hit a place inside, depending on which chakra she chose to pluck through; with her songs created for healing. Methods practitioner Jory Pryor pushed me on an amazing spiritual journey into a very deep introspection with the Gnostic faith. Lisa A. Romano reminded me, again, what I already knew. Sadhguru made me laugh with his “obvious” knowledge we already know inside. Carrie Grossman filled my office daily with “Thy Will Be Done,” so that I might shift the energy to a higher note by cleansing and clearing out the lessons from the day before. Glenda Cedarleaf helped me to sleep at night, with her charming stories of heroic young girls.

The pain and suffering that we go through as Carrie had mentioned in her course, is that which we attract into our life. We believe we need this to learn a lesson. Everything we have in our life, is that which we have chosen. I have always believed and make jokes about this all the time with my clients, that God has tested me over and over to help me become a better therapist. And, so, guess what, God says “Yes” and tests me over and over again to help me become a better therapist. I realized recently, once again, that this does not serve me to have this belief. I realized again that I did not feel worthy of love, only worthy of giving to others what I did not have to give. Like a poor man who gives away the only penny he has earned for the day. I was unable to allow myself wealth, happiness, love and wisdom – for myself. When I had it, I would struggle with guilt. My own clients were struggling and I felt sadness inside. I felt I was unworthy. At one time in my life, I felt unworthy of having more money than what my parents made. I grew up in a family with narcissism. We were taught that we should suffer as they did. Every time I had succeeded along the way, there was something wrong with me and I was punished for having gained. If I loved someone, I was told it would most likely end, because I would destroy it. If I had money, I should give it to someone else. If I gave gifts, it was not good enough for them and I should have done better. I learned that pain and suffering was all that I deserved in life and so I continued to invite pain and suffering in.

I met this man six years ago and unconsciously fell in love with him. When he was available, I inserted myself and he acquiesced. It was a slow process and I was patient and supportive until I thought we were on the same page. A psychic had told me that this would be a long-term relationship and while this should have been enough to give me the strength, I could never feel worthy or believe in what she said. I gave up on myself and sat in silence. I saw signs of times I should have said something but did not. Or did but did not argue my point and instead gave in. I realized I was not being myself but did nothing about this. I focused on the happiness and love that was blossoming and progressing and assumed this would be enough. When he began to pull away; I continued to be silent. I did insert some of my feelings but not as strongly as I should have. Sometimes, you don’t see enough until it is the end. In the end, I fought and fought to prove my innocence, but the anger was too strong and he would not allow me a voice. He was a lot like my dad when I was a child. I had even regressed in that fatal moment and kept running around the table from the “belt” that would eventually hit my skin. (metaphor) While I saw I was not going to win, even like with my dad, I continued running and fighting round and round in a hopeless journey to a bitter end.

Praying and meditating for this wrong to be turned into a right, caused many days and months of crying and sobbing on my knees in front of my altar. I wondered if God knew I existed at times. My intellectual mind told me he/she did and I continued to get those instinctual messages from above that I continued to resist, thinking I could control the outcome, if I only prayed harder and bent down even more. Knowing repeatedly as the message was clear, and God was there, and that he/she was fighting for me. Realizing why people want to believe that God does not exist, because they are incapable, like I was, of listening and taking in the support they are given.

Our ego wants the outcome that we have determined is right for us. Our God wants the outcome that he/she sees fit from a pre-determined plan. Whatever happens will occur because we have attracted this, not because God has punished us. This supreme being is not a human one and while he/she always says yes, we want to say no. It reminds me of the story, I heard many times in church as a young girl. It goes like this: a guy prays to God for a job and he is sent offers right and left but turns down each one. He turns to God and says when will you give a me a job and God says, I have given you several. The guy says yes, but those weren’t right for me or they didn’t offer enough money. God always says yes, it is us that says no. My life has been filled with pain and suffering because I felt I deserved this. I made assumptions about what it was that I thought I wanted.

I began listening to women’s stories who were in very very good relationships and had been married many years. I am about to do a series of videos with them on what a good marriage is really about. I assumed that since they were in this wonderful relationship, it was just luck and they had gotten that great Tarot reading from above. Instead, I began to be surprised to find out several of them had divorced and later got back together. Or, there was separation before return. I realized that a good marriage is about the commitment between each other. It is about two people who work very hard at not giving up, even when it is not comfortable and when they do give up, it can be temporary if they are meant to be together. It is not a romantic journey but a constant struggle until both come together and realize they want no one else and are not willing to give up and live their life without their partner of choice. All of these separations or struggles involved faith and all of them have more love now than they ever did in the beginning. The shortest marriage has only been one year – married that is, as you will see below.

I spent a week this summer with one of these women and her husband of one year. A very unusual relationship between two people who have known each other for twenty plus years. Both were married during this time and when the couples both came to an end, the friendship turned into courtship and then wedded bliss. I have known her since I was a toddler. I just met him recently. The love they shared between them, from this unique bond, was intoxicating to say the least. He went out of his way to befriend me and make my time in their home as happy and pleasurable as she did. I drove away feeling a deep sadness that we did not live closer and that this moment was merely a play designed by God, to teach me what it might look like if I could only stay true to myself and my values. This warmth and companionship of twin souls that were destined to finally come together, but not until later in life. No story is an ideal story, there is no perfect journey. No couple has it easy.

I have attracted avoidant men along the way because I was avoiding myself. I was avoiding the lessons that were given to me as it did not seem ideal. I was collapsing into each relationship, giving up who I am and blaming them for not giving me what I failed to ask for until the end. By not being true to myself, I attracted people who were not true to me. The women I met, who were in wonderful relationships now, stayed true to themselves every step of the way. Even when there was struggle, with the man that they loved, they did not cling to them. They let them go, until both learned something they were meant to learn and then returned to each other. None of them expected a return. They all expected that at some point they would move on. The longest separation was six years. Nonetheless, I was very shocked to realize that these women, who I had idealized, did not have a perfect story.

I think it was Sadhguru who would say that if you have to do the lesson again and again and again, until you get it right, then this is what you must do. You may think, as I have, that I have finally had that breakthrough and that you are finally ready to succeed in your journey and find yourself failing once more, like I did. You have chosen this failure, for some reason, and instead of rejecting the pain must work through this until you see the light. And, then, once more, you must pick yourself up, dust yourself off and try again. Like my women friends in their amazing marriages, I must be committed to myself and not give up on myself in order to attract the same. I must stay true to my values and not sabotage my life every step of the way. We cannot blame love for being wrong, we can only take responsibility for attracting this lesson and resolve to walk through it. No matter how painful the journey, no matter how long we must suffer until we realize that the answers were there every step of the way. It was us who turned a blind eye. It was us who stopped being mindful and us who were not being true to ourself. The bottom line is that no relationship is going to succeed without both communicating their needs and wants. If you do not love yourself and refuse to work through the struggles of your past, or continue to collapse in relationships and stay true to yourself, there is no one who will stay true to you.

Life is a difficult journey, but we make it more pain and suffering because we believe this is what is necessary to learn. As my great spiritual teacher Lucie once said “You don’t become what you want, you become what you believe.” (Note: this was a quote she told me that someone else had said or she had heard). I have struggled so hard to understand what this means and how to implement this. It means: we must be true to ourselves; we have to believe in ourselves and, what we believe; then assert this to others with boundaries and requests. We must not cling on to someone and try to change them when they don’t fit our beliefs but move on. If you let someone go and they come back, they were “yours” to begin with, if not, they never were. Don’t be afraid to let someone go. Don’t be afraid for someone to say no. Don’t be afraid to be who you are. You are no good as someone else. You will never win trying to placate someone else. You will never have peace and happiness when you are not true to who you are.

Create an affirmation that speaks your desire by saying “I am worthy of…” and say goodbye to your pain and suffering, like I have and determine that you will have what you believe. Love and thank your pain and suffering (ego) for all that it has taught you and tell it that you no longer need it in your life. Walk forward worthy of the love you desire and you will receive it – it is always within and above – this is enough to get started and will always be there and will always be around you if you never give up on yourself and your faith.

To become a great therapist:

Knowing your own darkness is the best method for dealing with the darkness of other people.

Carl Gustav Jung

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