Eric’s Sunday Service; Suffer, Suffering and Suffered
The Bad Times
Suffer is and can be used in so many ways, in suffer and suffering, the suffix changes nothing. “Why must he continue to suffer, he has been suffering for so long, that I think he has suffered enough.” Now that is a strange sentence that makes perfect sense. I hope you suffered through it, I did not mean to “make you” suffer, or can one man cause another suffering?
Now if you think the idea and concept of suffering is simple, just fine, that is a good starting point. Is suffering a choice? Let us suffer through Merriam-Webster for a definition. Not to worry I keep it short. Now What!? Basically to “endure”. So “endure” is basically lasting for a good bit of time. I can see a marriage enduring over 50 years, and probably too many suffer in it. Here is a good one from the Bible; Matt. 19; “Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me….” Now that was the Teacher talking. Do not “Hinder” or “forbid” are also used in some translations. Now that throws a bit of a monkey wrench into the concept of suffer.
“She does not suffer fools lightly.” So maybe “to” suffer means tolerate? Just a note of disclaimer here, with more on the matter later. I understand other people suffering. But I do not “believe” in it for me. But it also seems that suffering is aggravation. Like long lines at the DMV or grocery stores. Or maybe a preacher who gives hour long sermons. Or when your spouse does not put things where they belong or someone who is habitually late. Stubbing your toe stinks.
Aggravation and toleration are not the results of outside stimuli. They are an inside job. How come that even though I am running behind schedule I do not suffer in a long line. After all did you realize that for some poor live alone lonely souls and that is as social as they get. Come on, give them a break and talk to them. Do not worry about their response. Their social skills suck do to atrophy of that skill. How about making faces to the poor lady alone trying to get three pre-teens through in orderly fashion. Does it really hurt to make funny faces for them? What gets better than giggling at peek a boo? And don’t you dare get through missing the opportunity to compliment the harried overworked clerk.
That simply is not suffering to me. I wonder if “acceptance” is the opposite of suffer.
Family Picks You Up
Losing in Competition Means Someone Won
The Fight and the Struggle
My often thought of heaven is a big playing field and track and places to climb. There would be winners and losers in competition. Art and writing studios in abundance. Where one could fail at the endeavor. There is no courage without fear. There is no love if no one cares and slides into a “heavenly” abyss of apathy as it no longer matters. Maybe no competition in dancing and playing an instrument. But a real place where in fact progress is the perfection. Did you ever wonder if your heaven would have free will?
Oh well I guess I will just have to suffer my heaven on earth. Or must I simply endure this hell? Free will full choice. I think neither of the above. I am a bit whimsical so I think more a celebration of life in love.
Hey let us just mention this in passing. Suffrage was the protest for women to get the right to vote – and that was not until 1920. Talk about suffrage. I was looking up black suffrage and what a crock that was. Rights versus practice. Give me a practice over a right any day. Ownership of land was a requirement to vote for a long time. About 6%. How did a 21 year old suffer that? Fight in this or that war without being able to vote? Some folks seemed to have suffered in order to get us to today. But seems to me that the real winners in those battles were the ones not suffering the battle but reveling in it in celebration of the cause. Just me.
Dealing with stage four cancer and stage 110 of Chemotherapy. I had a weird deal going on. My eyes would open in the morning. I would feel around and listen and smell and only then did I believe my eyes that I had made another day. My poor family would have to suffer my yelling YAHOO!
I get “blue” or depressed sometimes, how about you? Well I just learned over decades that that could work to my advantage. I am overly optimistic. The blues tie me to earth a little bit firmer. Kind of a nice refresher in “slow the hell down”.
Let's Lighten Up
Never Met a Bad Day, But I Have Made a Few
I had a great Asana, meditation instructor and a 4th level Tai Chi person who taught me much of these arts. I had injured myself and was having trouble with movement in some regards, quite painful. He saw me wincing during a warrior position. He said to me; “All kinds of bad happens to us Eric, but suffering is optional.” “Adapt your movement and foundation, this is positive, focusing on the disruption is not.” Clearly concern and care must be taken to avoid aggravating an injury of any sort, mental, emotional or physical. But to view that as suffering misses a great opportunity to find joy in the charting and going in a different direction, no matter how large or how small.
Is there an obstacle or debacle that causes us suffering. I think not. It is the lack of acceptance that your peg has changed shape and you must find that new hole to put it in. Admittedly I am not good with change quite often. But all that is required is an adjustment in latitude and attitude. The angle and the elevation to higher heights. All the sudden we are outside looking at the problem and within we move forward. The problem is over there and we are over here.
Of course this whole not suffering deal is a bunch more easily said than done. Have you ever had a challenge to solve, maybe even taking years? And then you solve it and it becomes like you no longer have purpose. (If you are a parent, from kindergarten to college to marriage you know what I mean) Problems become like that. Suffering becomes like that. If you are into suffering losing it is like losing some fingers. It is simply and matter of fact a loss. A lot of folks get into a comfy habit of being victims.
Now just so anyone who reads too fast thinks I am talking about things of horrible human tragedy from war to plague to fires. Maybe slow down and do not look to suffer an argument but rather enjoy the personal aspect for all of us.
Unconditional love. This can be of people. This can be of your God. For sure pets. “Unconditional” is a great notion. Love of life can be unconditional. No matter the circumstance we still love life. Again it sounds so simple. Well in this case it is the path of less resistance. It is the easier route to look for the love and the good rather than dwell on our conceived and perceived misery and suffering.
Most of us have good inner strength but for me, I find that asking for help is a good way to get that wheel started down that road of love.