Embrace Your Suffering

TAKING OFF THE ARMOR
4 min readApr 10, 2023

The results will surprise you.

Dove chocolate wrapper with the saying “Let life bloom.”
Image credit: author

It is funny how life works out. We watched the 1990’s iconic movie Rudy this past weekend, which also happened to be Easter weekend. I smiled, as I realized the theme for both fell right in line with my blog for this week.

I am often inspired by conversations I have with people throughout the week. Last week it was a discussion I was having with my friend, Howie. We were discussing altruistic service to others. Serving only to be of service to others.

Howie told me about a book he was reading, The Untethered Soul by Michael Sing. The author, at one point in his life, decided to become a monk. The guru he wanted to study under said, Okay…are you ready to suffer? That didn’t sound particularly appetizing to him but he was curious and decided to move forward in his journey. During this time he contracted malaria and his guru said to him (paraphrased), Yes, you have malaria. You’re not going to die, but you are going to suffer for some time. Embrace your suffering.

Not exactly the words you want to hear when you are in misery. But it got me thinking.

What if we truly embraced the suck?

What if we could surrender and let the emotions flow through us versus fighting to repress them?

What if we could be gentle with ourselves while we struggled versus punishing ourselves for being “weak”?

What if we allowed ourselves to be vulnerable and ask for help versus shutting down and trying to handle it on our own?

What if we permitted ourselves to hurt versus pretending we are impenetrable?

What if we found value in our suffering?

To live is to suffer, to survive is to find some meaning in suffering. ~Friedrich Nietzsche

Suffering occurs on many levels.

This past weekend was a religious celebration of suffering and sacrifice. Part of the dogma of certain religions is to give up something during the period of Lent. I often see many of my friends give up things such as technology, sweets, soda, etc. They are willing to sacrifice and suffer in honor of what was given up for them.

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TAKING OFF THE ARMOR

Hi! I am a Veteran, Mom, nurse, writer, educator, blogger, and podcaster. Here to share issues impacting military transition. (Which impacts civilians too.)