Hopeless. Discouraged. Helpless.
These are the words my clients, students and readers are using to describe how they feel recently. Also,
“Terrified to my bones.”
“Suffocating, heavy and exhausted.”
“Waves of deep sadness arising out of nowhere.”
One thing I’ve learned in all my years of suffering and then, finally clawing my way out of it and living on the other side, is that there’s only ONE cause of suffering.
It’s not other people doing ignorant, cruel or destructive things.
It’s not viruses, diseases or pandemics.
It’s not crooked politicians, government or bureaucracy.
It’s not racial, economic or civic unrest.
It’s not anything that happened in the past or anything that might happen in the future.
It’s not even that you’re an empath and you absorb the world’s feelings and emotions.
These are all signposts pointing to the cause, but they’re not the cause.
You’re not suffering because you’re feeling the suffering of others, or any of the above, you’re suffering because you’re identifying with the suffering.
THE ROOT OF ALL SUFFERING
The root of all suffering is identifying with ego rather than soul.
Souls do not suffer, humans do. Souls do not have egos, humans do.
When our egos are active, we become fearful. We worry about the state of the world. How can we not when the world is in total chaos? We hear the news, listen to people and see immense divisiveness and polarization happening in every country, not just America or wherever we reside, but around the entire globe. We’re bombarded with an overload of conflicting information that reinforces separation, blame and hostility among our human brothers and sisters.
If you wear a mask, you’re being brainwashed into believing the hoax and need to think for yourself. If you don’t wear a mask, you’re being selfish and putting other people’s lives in jeopardy. If you support a political leader, no matter who it is, the “other side” will accuse you of being closed minded and part of the problem in the downfall of our country. If you remain silent, you don’t truly value equal rights or else you’d speak up about it. If you speak up, you’ll inadvertently say something insensitive and hurtful that can do more harm than good.
The world feels like it’s in a state of complete disruption, division and disconnection, which leads us individually to feel alone, small and weak.
But humans are nothing more than souls cloaked in skin, flesh and bone.
The problem is we’ve forgotten who we really are, we’ve mistaken the cloak for ourselves.
THE END OF SUFFERING
When we realize the cloak is merely a disguise that the ego keeps alive, we can remove the cloak as easily as we remove a sweater and let the thoughts, stories and emotions of our egos drop into the background, bringing our soul into the forefront of our experience.
We plug in to a bigger whole, one of unity, wisdom and power and become still and peaceful. And we recognize all that is happening in this world as divinely orchestrated, a necessary step in our evolution and a spiritual process of ascension.
It doesn’t mean we don’t hurt.
It doesn’t mean we don’t have problems.
It doesn’t mean we don’t feel the pain of others.
It simply means we don’t identify with any of those conditions. The emotions may come and go like waves as we allow them to ebb and flow freely, remaining centered in the awareness of our soul.
Without identifying with the emotion, resisting, judging or dramatizing it, we cease to suffer.
Without identifying with our own problems, we cease to suffer.
Without identifying with the world’s problems, we cease to suffer.
Problems still come and go, just like emotions, but they’re not a part of our identity anymore. We don’t make them about who we are or who anyone else is or what the world is about.
There is a life happening through you, and maybe your cloak wants to judge that life as painful and hard, but nevertheless, it’s not who you are.
You’re a soul witnessing the experience of that life through a human form.
When you identify with the drama, struggles and pain of that life and make it a part of who you are, you suffer.
The difference between suffering and not suffering is knowing who you really are.
Even if you feel and absorb the suffering of the world as an empath, it doesn’t mean you have to suffer along with it. You can feel suffering without being suffering.
You are the one who feels, not the feeling itself.
To get more in touch with the soul, we must make room for it in our lives. When we spend most of our time and energy focused on what’s happening in the outside world, we leave no room for our Intuition, Inner Wisdom and Spirit. Getting back in touch with our essential nature consistently is key to end suffering and it only requires simple actions.
We tend to want to make it more complicated than necessary because life has taught us that the things worth gaining are hard to get, but our soul is not something to be achieved, it’s already here. We already ARE souls. We don’t have to “get” anything, we need only BE. And often that means dropping all the layers of the cloak (worry, stress, incessant thoughts, fear, etc) long enough to tap in to what’s underneath.
Many of us have glimpses of spiritual moments here and there, but if we want long-term permanent transformation in our lives, it has to become a daily reality. We must live more from a soul-perspective than an ego-perspective. We must tip the scale from human-based living to soul-based living.
To do this, we can’t just think our way into soulful living, we must also act our way into it.
Five simple ways to get in touch with your inner being
Do any one of these daily, or better yet, do them all every day.
- Spend time in nature. Let the wisdom of the trees, birds, sky and earth inform you.
- Read spiritual literature or writing that helps you connect to a greater sense of awareness. (I read a Rumi quote every morning. His poetry resonates profoundly with me and immediately sinks me deeper into beingness)
- Write in a journal, directing your thoughts to a higher presence, as if you were writing letters to God, Soul, Divinity, whatever it is to you. This helps you build a conscious relationship with Grace and activate it in your daily life.
- Meditate. If sitting quietly isn’t your thing, practice active meditation, which is being mindful while doing an activity. It could be a task as ordinary as taking a shower. Instead of letting your thoughts go rampant, mulling over your to-do list for the day or rehashing a difficult conversation from the previous day, focus your awareness into the present moment, paying attention to the water as it falls on your body, the sound, feel and sight of it. Let all thoughts drop away, becoming quiet and still in the now.
- Listen to music that awakens something deeper in you. Some of my favorites are Lisa Gerrard, Enya, Loreena McKennitt and Hillsong (worship). Find yours, whatever moves you deeply, and allow yourself to get lost in it.
You might read this list and think, “yea, yea, yea, I know all this, it doesn’t work for me.” Before you dismiss the list, I urge you to consider that as a thought of the cloak, the ego, and move through it. Don’t stop at the thought and let it keep you in suffering. If you do, you’ll only keep searching the internet, consuming more information, hoping and praying for something else, something better, something bigger that will finally click, that will help you, that will set you free once and for all after all these years.
How long have you been searching, waiting, praying desperately for that one answer? How many articles have you read, books have you purchased, courses have you taken, coaches have you paid?
Consider that this constant searching, constant yearning, constant state of wanting-to-find-that-one-answer-that-will-change-everything-but-not-ever-finding-it is part of the cloak’s grip on you, to keep you lost, to keep you distracted, to keep you in a constant state of longing so that you can’t be still long enough to actually find the answer within you.
Our cloaks tell us it can’t be that simple, that we have to do some ancestral energetic healing deep in a forest in the middle of nowhere with a wild shaman, or a series of 10 chakra cleansing rituals over 10 weeks, or a year long vow of silence and liquid detox fast until our bodies release all its toxins, or pay thousands of dollars for a coach and healer. And when one of those doesn’t work, our cloak tells us it just wasn’t the right thing for us, that it’s just a matter of finding the right thing, and here we go again, forever stuck in that never-ending loop of searching-but-not-finding.
All the while, the ego sits back and smiles, your plan to break free from its grip once again foiled.
No, none of that is necessary. It’s only necessary because you’re believing the cloak’s lies that it’s necessary.
Instead of doing all that… instead of paying someone like me… go outside and sit under a tree.
It’s free. It works. It’s easy.
ABOUT HIRING AN EXPERT TO HELP YOU END YOUR SUFFERING
There are coaches, healers and experts who will tell you you need their fancy techniques and methods, you need their help to get better, you need something “more, better, bigger, different” to finally see change. If you’re in the mindset that that’s true, then yes, they probably can help you.
But you can eliminate that mindset and end your suffering without their help (or mine). You don’t need them. You don’t need me. You don’t need another article, book, course or podcast episode.
You need only BE STILL and start listening to your own inner guidance. You have the best expert available – for free – inside you, available to you even outside of “normal business hours”.
Tune in to your own intuition and heal yourself.
Start by getting quiet, doing one or all of the five things listed above, every day.
Keep it simple. The more simple you keep it, the easier it will be to remain committed and consistent with it, doing it every day until it becomes a habit and you can’t not do it.
One problem I’ve found with coaching is that clients do the exercises, make improvements and feel better while they’re being coached, but as soon as the coaching sessions end, they revert right back to their old habits and ways. Their life has improved regardless because their energy has shifted, but other problems tend to arise that repeats similar patterns.
It’s the same as hiring a personal fitness trainer. You’ll do the workout for that hour once a day or week while they’re there, guiding you, holding you accountable. But after your package ends, will you still be working out six months later?
I’ve personally shifted my entire coaching structure around to ensure this doesn’t happen with my client, but if you learn how to tune in to your own inner coach, you’ll never have to worry about losing momentum, seeking outside yourself for answers, or getting lost in ego again.
If you want to stop suffering, start souling.
Your soul has all the answers, all the wisdom and resources to end your suffering.
Tune into it.
It’s possible for you to remain calm and peaceful no matter what you’re feeling, including other people’s suffering or your own. Shift your perspective from the feeling to the feeler, from the ego to the soul witnessing the ego.