Is suffering necessary

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According to Eckhart Tolle in his book, “Stillness Speaks,” he poses the question:

“Is suffering necessary? Yes and no. If you had not suffered as you have, there would be no depth to you as a human being, no humility or compassion. Suffering cracks open the shell of ego and then comes to a point when it has served its purpose. Suffering is necessary until you realize it is unnecessary.”

I suffered a great deal in my earlier life with sexual abuse, parental alcoholism, divorce, unemployment, lack, and beliefs and patterns that robbed me of my peace and true identity. I’m grateful that I have learned my lessons (and still learning) because today my life is about living in love, peace, trust, happiness, joy, and surrender, which is our natural condition.

According to A Course in Miracles, suffering results when we forget who we really are as children of God, Source, or Love. We live not in reality, but in an illusion. We are AWAKENING from the collective dream of separation and walking one another home to the truth that we are all ONE and connected.  

There is so much going on in the world these days and millions of people are suffering whether it be concerned about global warming, politics, Covid, inflation, health issues, war, food prices, relationships, finances, drought, housing shortages, retirement, food shortages, and the list goes on and on. Can you relate?

I have had my share of fear of living in the middle of the ocean that we won’t be able to get food delivered, run out of water, run out of money, or not have a place to live. I know fear is useless and what is needed is TRUST. God has ALWAYS provided for and guided me.

Is there something in your life that you are afraid and worried about? Is there anything you can do about it? Can you control it? I cannot change what is going on outside of me in the world. I pray and send love to my family and friends and to the world every day. I “show up” to the best of my ability and ask where I can be a vessel of love and kindness. I know that all I can change is ME, my perspectives, thoughts, and reactions. It’s my thoughts that cause suffering and fear. Fear is a call for love.  

Fear cannot exist in the present moment, but only in the past and the future, which does not exist. The present moment is the only TIME there is. It is in the present moment that I experience peace.  The past is gone, the future is just IMAGINED with all the “what ifs.” Our safety lies in truth and not in lies and illusions. When love is our safety, fear does not exist. Choose Love and you are safe and home.

I’ve asked myself, “What is my responsibility as a light worker, healer, and child of the Universe?” It is to keep my vibration high in love, peace, and gratitude so I can serve where I am called to serve and BE the light and anchor for others still in darkness and caught up in egoic thinking by comparing, competing, and judging.

Here are some obstacles that keep us from awakening:  Anger, resentment, unforgiveness, fear, guilt, judgment, blame, shame, defensiveness, unworthiness, and inadequacy.

For the last several years living on Maui, Larry and I have belonged to a “love group” which meets every other week. Last week we discussed the idea of suffering being a CHOICE. Hmmm, very interesting and deep. I believe suffering comes when we are unable to “accept what it is” and when we forget the truth of who we are as children of God. I have many choices on a daily basis to keep myself centered and aligned in peace and love.

·        I can choose love or fear

·        I can choose lack or abundance

·        I can choose to accept “what is” or resist and suffer

·        I can choose to let go of what no longer serves me

·        I can choose to feel all of my feelings, rather than a spiritual bypass

·        I can choose to not take things personally

·        I can choose to forgive myself and others for perceived wrongdoing

·        I can choose to let go of old patterns and beliefs

·        I can choose to not be defensive and react

·        I can choose to TRUST God rather than live in fear

·        I can choose to LIVE IN THE MOMENT

What are you choosing today? What do you need to let go of to live the best version of yourself?


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Pat Hastings

Author, Inspirational Speaker, Spiritual Coach, Retreat Leader & Radio Talk Show Host

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