End of Pain and Suffering

“Find a place where there is joy, and the joy will burn out the pain.”
                                                                             Joseph Campbell

I went to an event for a Jewish holiday called Roshashanah. This holiday is part of what we call, the High Holidays. These holidays consist of Roshashanah, Yom Kippur, and Sukkot. RoshHashanah is a time of letting go of all the negative thoughts and actions we have accumulated from the past year and it is a time of celebration. I celebrated this Jewish New Year with thousands of other people of all religions from all over the world. Have you ever celebrated something, not including a sports event or concert with thousands of people? If you have you know it is quite an experience. Not only was I part of this event, but this event itself brings people together for the purpose of ending our pain and suffering individually and throughout the world. 

Can you imagine yourself living absent the pain and suffering you usually carry with you? I was somewhat skeptical upon arriving. And upon leaving after a two day experience, not only did I feel lighter, I also felt more positive and very aware of my internal energy in relation to others. By that I mean that as I engage with others I feel how their energies feel within me and what their energies bring out in me. When I am near or with someone with negative energies brewing inside of them or with very divergent energies within them, I feel an uncomfortable feeling within my guts. I then notice what I do with my feelings. I often am tempted to help them and to bring them out of their inner funks. I am tempted to do this for them, but also for me. So now I notice this and instead of trying to raise their consciousness, I leave them alone unless they ask for my assistance. I realize that what is going on inside of them is theirs to deal with; unless they ask me for help. 

Secondly, I find certain people are hard for me to be around. I just don’t feel good around them. Instead of making myself, I now can allow myself to not engage, to not try to please them, and I can walk away. I used to try to please them and disregard my own inner self and feelings of disease and uncomfortableness. What I am doing now is not taking responsibility for others, and I am not ignoring myself. I am honoring them and me. Do bad and painful things happen to people? Yes. I am learning to be aware of their pain and suffering and allowing them to find ways to deal with theirs. This frees me to work with my feelings rather than ignoring, stuffing, delegating, or spewing them onto others.

On another level, the Jewish New Year, RoshaShanah, was a holiday my father hated. He never saw it is a celebration, but as a painful experience. When he was growing up, being in a very religious Jewish family, everyone spent the whole day in Synagogue and seemed to him to be suffering. He neither saw nor experienced any joy or happiness or celebration. Everyone looked unhappy. They fasted for the whole day and were in a devotional place. His family’s particular Orthodox community didn’t see this holiday as a celebration. It was serious business. As an adult, he and mom decided that they didn’t want to be part of this holiday. They had joined a Jewish synagogue in case any of their children wanted to learn more about our heritage and our Jewish traditions. At our home we only celebrated the holiday of Passover and Chanukah, as dad had a special relationship with his grandfather he called Zadie, who taught him the significance of Passover on both a global and personal scale. 

My personal experience of this holiday first began as an adult. I joined a synagogue so my son and I could learn more about our religious heritage. Recently, it has deepened to a fuller level with my experiences within a spiritual philosophy called Kabbalah and their approach to life as well as the significance of certain meaningful holidays. 

Bad things do happen and we do experience pain. And, as we approach these things differently and learn to love ourselves and others on a deeper level by listening to and honoring our inner selves and feelings, the experience of pain and suffering changes. It no longer is that, but more importantly is learning. Here is to a life of growth, inspiration, learning, health, wholeness, and vitality.

Shift Your Story, Shift Your Life:

Try this interpersonal exercise and see how it helps you.

‘Go to the grocery store, or a coffee shop, or a drug store, or any place you go to where you are around others. As you go, become aware of centering your thoughts and feelings and become in tune with your inner thoughts and feelings. How do you feel?

Now, as you get ready to enter the store, keep your awareness of self with you. As you come near others pay attention to how you feel. Do you feel good, or bad, or uncomfortable or anxious suddenly? Is there a change in your inner feeling or attitude? Just notice. Now, as they or you walk away, notice how your inner feeling changes; if it does.

Do this consciously another time or two. It slows down your whole shopping experience… so don’t worry. After you have done this with 2 or 3 people, let it go and just continue as you usually do.

This exercise is designed to help you to notice your inner life in a new way. Honor the feelings and see if you can become more aware of them throughout your life, one step at a time.

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