I’ve come to learn that there are three ways to suffer:
to resist the pain
to resign to the pain, or
to embrace the pain.
While thinking about these three ways we can choose to engage in suffering, I was noticing the way in which I was going about responding to one of the hardest pain points in my life, and I was definitely resisting it.
Upon noticing this, I got a visual and perhaps it may help you and so I will share it. We Catholics refer to suffering as our “cross” right? So imagine yourself up on that cross. When we resist being placed on it, we pull away from the nails that are pinning our hands and feet to the cross. The rough metal gapes the holes wider in our flesh and we scream in agony. We never get off that piece of wood and the experience becomes even more excruciating.
Resigning ourselves to our cross is a step in the right direction. I would not call this full on acceptance, it is more like giving up trying to change it and so we just hang there as dead weight. We aren’t causing more pain, but we are sinking into the pain.
When I considered embracing the pain, suddenly the image changed and instead of me being nailed to that plank of wood, I was somehow able to turn around and grab hold of the cross with both arms. This was prayerful imagery, so don’t get too caught up in the logistics of how that would be, but I got the sense of feeling lifted, that although the nails may still be in my hands and feet, now my body no longer had to experience the weight of my body pulling on them, and as I pulled back to look upon the cross, suddenly Jesus was there and it was HIM on MY cross who was nailed and I got to embrace Him doing it for me.
I just want to leave you with that. It’s hard to do this in practice, I know, but I think that image was spot on, and I want to try so badly to implement that in my life. Perhaps you do too, and if you need help starting to separate your own pain from that you add to it by resisting it, reach out. I’d love to work with you.
I am a Professionally trained Catholic Mindset Coach through Metanoia Catholic. I help Christian women who feel unhappy and dissatisfied with life find the fulfillment and satisfaction they desire by reworking limiting belief patterns with the tools of mindset coaching so that they can see the Truth of the Goodness and Beauty of who they are and how they were made.
If you feel you could benefit from coaching do not hesitate to reach out, I'd love to hear from you. And if anything has spoken to your heart or you have any questions in general about Catholic Mindset Coaching, sign up for aFREE Discovery Call on theServices page!
If you wish to get to know me better, check out my personal blog, Grateful Blessed Mess, at gratefulblessedmess.com for an inside view of my interior life. God bless!