illness and crisis: what is the reason for my suffering?

There is nothing more powerful than the feeling of confidence and pride that I have gained, when I chose to keep trudging onward. When I opt to face life’s fantastically, puzzling questions head-on and push myself forward, I pat myself on the back. My past successes and failures have helped me process my awareness, which has helped me become more insightful and exhibit greater control over my positive and negative thoughts.

I have not cornered the market on what I believe to be the truth. Everybody has to seek and find what is true for him or her. I am just another soul on the path of finding what rings true for me.

“The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically.

Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education.”[1]

Traveling down the long and winding road of life’s ups and downs, I have gratefully acknowledged journaling and researching as my tools to dig deep, hoping to find bits and pieces of the truth – indications that will help me solve life’s mysteries. Like an archeologist, my passion drives me to dive down, through and out! I’ve always had an innate mission to work on making sense of the plethora of perplexing questions that center around the meaning of life and our human existence. I have continuously looked for clues to why we are here. One constant goal has been for me to direct my consciousness towards helping me see things through a loving, compassionate and gentler posture. Communally, I bear witness to the truth that we can transform mankind by choosing to transform ourselves.

I choose to believe that not all suffering relates to a failure of some kind. Many people (including myself here) do battle with their suffering because they perceive it as retribution. People can and people may believe that they deserve their pain and suffering. After anyone has been hit with an illness or an unfair and tragic event it is easy to believe that it is payback time. My negative thoughts, on more than one occasion eventually brought me misery and suffering.

I have learned from multiple, credible sources that our subconscious minds are programmed in early childhood. The programming of our subconscious mind influences our waking life without our control or knowledge or consent. In terms of suffering and illness, many people have an underlying notion that:

My suffering is my punishment! This is my penance for past transgressions against someone, a cultural rule, or God.”

Illness and suffering, whether it is serious or not, physical or mental, throw most of us into “crisis-mode.” The word “crisis” is derived from the Greek krisis ‘decision,’ from krinein ‘decide.’ The general sense ‘decisive point’ dates from the early 17th century. A crisis will be a decision “how” you decide to start a new chapter in your life. How am I going to get through this illness and how will I get through my suffering?

My pain and suffering, no matter if related to the loss of my mother, my divorce, the crushing news of one of my children becoming seriously ill, brought me to multi-layered crises landmarks. Crisis can and usually does bring us to the edge of a huge chasm. All of us have predispositions of what we think we can endure. The first moments of a crisis feels like we are doomed!

“It’s not fair!”

The decision we each must make is to fight or to flee. I continue to learn that despite my fears, I can choose to start over and make a decision.

“…that whatever doesn’t kill me makes me a better.”[2]

I look for meaning and purpose during a crisis, but especially during my hindsight 20/20 rear view mirror, as they say. If this does not describe you, it will during a crisis, even if only on the subconscious level. Over the past thirty years, give or take, I have observed this with family members, friends and neighbors. It is human to ask, “why?” The universe, God, spirits and/or nature calls to each one of us. When I travel spiritually and morally deep within myself, I am eventually encouraged to press on through my crisis – my decision.

Illness and suffering woke me up. After fifty-four years on this planet, I stand by this claim. Crisis wakes us up! It wakes up our minds, our bodies, our hearts and most importantly, our souls. I believe that most, but not all, crisis’s are a turning point meant to discourage you and me from our current path, because what we are doing now and have been doing in the past is not working out.

Only looking back now can I see how many crisis situations were signs posts that led me to a new place. Crisis was and still is a catalyst for shifting my consciousness. Suffering has challenged my perspective and assumptions and made me ask:

“Is this really the best direction? Where can I go for some guidance

because I don’t know everything and I’m so uncertain right now?”

I continue to learn the power in words. The written word, the spoken word and the unspoken word – our thoughts. My human existence manifests and is contingent upon the belief and the energy behind my words. I have always spoken about my life and relished when others speak freely about their life to me, whether it be face-to-face, in a written word or other visual mediums. My passion is the discovery of wisdom and then repeating what I’ve learned and writing it with conviction to share with others.

Wisdom from our elders, children, the universe, God, spirits, and/or nature is always calling us to be still and listen … wake-up to the truth that will give life – my life – your life – meaning. Before any shift of consciousness can manifest, some kind of a wake-up call usually happens. Illness, suffering, pain, failure do not need to be a negative final judgment. On the contrary, it has catapulted me forward to a new chance for new beginnings, over and over to begin again. We are meant to learn to grow; the forks in the road are there for us all.

“Life is the sum of all your choices.”[3]

[1] Martin Luther King Jr.

[2] Fredrich Nietzche

[3] Albert Camus

*Sierra Sanchez oil painting image, In Decision (2017)


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