A personal conversation: I called Dr. MacAfee, Jeff’s addiction therapist, to talk about suffering. I had received an email from a mom in which I interpreted her as saying, “Quit suffering. And quit complaining about suffering. You need to learn from it.” I felt confused about my own suffering, especially with Jeff’s addiction. Was I not ‘allowed’ to suffer or feel the constant heartache? I needed help putting things together.
Dr. MacAfee’s response: Life is suffering. Until we get this concept, we can’t move on. Although days are filled with many beautiful moments, suffering is part of life. The question is not how do we live without pain, but how do we allow suffering to transform us. Suffering can be redemptive and transform us into a better person. The problem is when we get mired in our own suffering, then it becomes nonproductive. Acceptance of pain allows it to pass through us. Trauma and pain are paradigm shifts.
Today’s Promise to consider: I will put forth the effort to work through my suffering, my pain. I will allow the trauma to help me to grow. Suffering can be both the cross and the resurrection.1081