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Eric’s Sunday Service; Suffer, Suffering and Suffered

Updated on February 9, 2020
Ericdierker profile image

Holding degrees in philosophy and Law. Formal studies or certificates or degrees in business, theology, insurance and security. Ex-preacher.

Poor Kid

Made him suffer work early on. Too fun!
Made him suffer work early on. Too fun! | Source

The Bad Times

Suffer This!

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

Never miss the chance to pick another up.
Never miss the chance to pick another up. | Source

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.

Walking Down That Valley

Only 8 more miles of hiking today.
Only 8 more miles of hiking today. | Source


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    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      14 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Devika I hope all is well with you and Spring is not far off. I think you sometimes and wonder what you are up to. Thank you for all you support over the years.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 

      14 months ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Hi Eric another one of your best hubs on life's experiences and as always you share what matters to you and everybody else.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      14 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Tamara I thank you for your support and leaving a message. It is such a fascinating topic. My son is now suffering his reading.

    • Rhyme Vine Poetry profile image

      Tamara Yancosky 

      14 months ago from Uninhabited Regions

      This is a refreshing point-of-view, Eric, and much wisdom to ponder, here.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      14 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Chitrangada, Thanks. It struck me that we have known each other for closer to 7 years than 6. Your support for me seems to have been and is unconditional. You do not just talk the talk but you walk the walk.

      Let's go another 7 without conditions.

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 

      14 months ago from New Delhi, India

      Great words of wisdom in your Sunday Sermon.

      Like happiness, sufferings are part of life. If we accept that, it becomes easier to face sufferings. And if there is a helping hand, a word or two, by someone who really cares, everything eases.

      I believe Love is unconditional. If it’s conditional, it’s not love.

      Thanks for sharing another wonderful Sermon.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      14 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thanks Chris. Sometimes life is a lot like tightening straps and adjusting weight on a backpack on a good hike. The journey makes the load bearing a small task.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      14 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Ruby my technical physical challenge was balance - some inner ear deal. I have recovered generally so now my challenge is the aches and pains of the exercise to get back and ready to hike the Grand Canyon in April. They just never end '-)

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      14 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Harish I thank you for making the connection with the beautiful faiths of greater Asia. "Bad and Good" are strange notions indeed. But we can all agree that acting "in" love is good.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      14 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Donna, that is one of my failings however tiny it is, and I catch it and dismiss it but I want something in return far to often. Crazy. But we see and feel and learn.

    • cam8510 profile image

      Chris Mills 

      14 months ago from Traverse City, MI

      Adapt and adjust. Good lessons on dealing with suffering. Thank you for shedding the light of your experience on the subject.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      14 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Linda, my wife laughed at me the other day and instead of saying "just relax today honey" she said "how about you just be depressed for a day." Hmm, I reckon looking from the outside in I act like that. Maybe someday this week I will squeeze it in on my calendar.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      14 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Your article is jammed full of truth. We all suffer at some point in our life, to move forward and overcome is the battle. I hope your battle is short lived. Peace and love my friend.

    • Harishprasad profile image

      Harish Mamgain 

      14 months ago from New Delhi , India

      Meeting both happiness and suffering with equanimity is all that has been the essence of all oriental scriptures. We have to face our karma no matter what. In this only lies our happiness or suffering whatever names we give it.

      I love how you exhort us to have care and concern for one another during this tenure of our life. There is love how this sermon teaches us to go with ups and downs in our life. This morning, the sermon is like a bhajan ( singing praises to God ). Thanks a lot my friend for spreading light and love.

    • Donna-Rayne profile image

      Donna Rayne 

      14 months ago from Sparks, Nevada

      Great article with lots of ideas to work through the blues and you shall find your blessings. Unconditional love is given freely without expecting anything in return! I loved your article!

      Have a great day!

      Donna Rayne

    • Carb Diva profile image

      Linda Lum 

      14 months ago from Washington State, USA

      Eric, only you would find a blessing in having the blues. My goodness, I still have lessons to learn. I'm glad I stopped by today for this sermon. It came just in time. Love you.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      14 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      I like this one Mel; He suffered the humiliation of spending all his millions from the lottery. Trying to protect it from money grubbing in-laws, now that would be suffering.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      14 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Clive I would be very interested in you troubles with race in Jamaica. I had no idea it still existed. Class suffering will never leave I am happy to say. I surely do like my class more than others.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      14 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Pamela, those of us with just a tiny bit of unconditional love make this world wonderful to live in. That asking for help sure is cool. My boy loves it when I ask him for help.

    • Mel Carriere profile image

      Mel Carriere 

      14 months ago from Snowbound and down in Northern Colorado

      "Don't lean on me man cause you can't afford the ticket-

      I'm back from suffragette city." (late great David Bowie

      "His long-suffering fans patiently endured his insufferable sermon on suffering." (me)

      "Suffering succotash!" (Daffy Duck)

      Funny how one word can mean both good and bad things. Brilliant expose on a great word that gets a bad rap.

    • clivewilliams profile image

      Clive Williams 

      14 months ago from Jamaica

      i have sufferered for my skin and class.

      I have suffered many tiimes in the past.

      But my suffering has made me and myself a rock of Gibraltar.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      14 months ago from Sunny Florida

      There are sure a number of ways to look at suffering and our beliefs about suffering. I don't particularly like asking for help as I want to be independent, but I think asking for help is really an act of love. It feels good to help someone and I know my family wants to help me. Unconditional love is where we end up again. This is an excellent article, Eric.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      14 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Vidya I like your point. if we rely to heavily on the outside then we fall heavily for it.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      14 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thank you much Raymond. Your support is appreciated. Hopefully you and I can practice them today.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      14 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Bill without this notion and the breaking of the pity pot I would not have been able to overcome my demons and self-inflicted negative behaviors.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      14 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Paul you really struck a fine chord here. Is perhaps lending a hand and giving to others our best method of asking for help? As I think of it (I know thinking is dangerous for me ;-) I do get more offers that way. Never thought of it. Thanks.

    • vidsagster profile image


      14 months ago

      Great article Eric, it's true that unconditional love can make suffering bearable but inner strength plays an important role. We can get help if we are lucky enough.

    • raymondphilippe profile image

      Raymond Philippe 

      14 months ago from The Netherlands

      Eric, your words touched me. Thank you!

    • manatita44 profile image


      14 months ago from london

      Now I'm sure that nursing home helped you, bro. Did you do some blood work? I mean, you are now where you used to be, at your skilful best! What a play on suffering!

      "Suffer us fools to come unto you, for of such is the kingdom of heaven." Lol. Peace Bro.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      14 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I had to get out of me and wrap myself up with us. Then all things became doable.

    • Paul K Francis profile image

      Paul K Francis 

      14 months ago from east coast,USA

      A great piece to read this morning, Eric. I'm sure it will have a positive effect on all my attitudes and latitudes today. Suffering is complicated but unconditional love can make it less so. And it is never a bad idea to ask for help, while also helping others. Have a great day.


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