• Jun

    Changing the Question


    For a long time now I’ve looked at my life circumstances. So many times I’ve asked myself: “When is this situation going to end?” A few days ago the answer became clear: Stop asking the question.

    In conversation with a friend he followed up on that and told me that I needed to accept what happened and to let it be what it is. Sounds fatalistic, perhaps, though I knew he was right. In another form, one could call this: “Surrender.”

    You see, there’s another side to all of this. It’s tempting to say that I’ve experienced some of the worst suffering of my life, The one part I’m not fond of admitting is that what’s happened has brought some very important spiritual lessons into my life that I needed to learn. It’s also clear I probably wouldn’t have learned them any other way.

    When I consider suffering, as a case in point, almost all of it is mental, that is, self-created. The circumstances I’ve been in have been difficult, to be sure, but what made it much worse is the way I thought about it. Until this happened, I didn’t realize just how much pain I’ve caused myself over the years.

    Another, major mistake I’ve made over the years is expecting other people to fix the problem. Those who know me know I come from an abusive family. The number one mistake I made was expecting one family member to fix it. The huge awakening I had was to realize that I had the power to end my suffering, simply by saying: “No more,” then having the courage to leave the environment and set strict boundaries so it would never happen again.

    It was profoundly liberating. For years I wanted harmony within the family, which cannot happen. What I can have is harmony within myself without the family. This is what I chose to do and my health and well-being improved as a result, and it continues to improve.

    As for what else I’ve learned, here are some important pieces:

    • This, too, shall pass

    • It’s important to build good, stable relationships with people

    • Whatever you lack is what you most need to give and when you give what you lack (as I found out) you will receive an abundance. It’s paradoxical, yet it works.

    • Within every apparent disaster is something to be learned.

    • To find opportunities in your life, become curious. That alone can open doors.

    There’s more, but I’m sure you get the idea.

    As always, thanks to everyone for reading my blog and for writing to me.

    © Nathan Segal 2013.

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