When Suffering is the Norm

“People have a hard time letting go of their suffering. Out of a fear of the unknown, they prefer suffering that is familiar.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

https://i2.wp.com/www.learntarot.com/bigjpgs/pents05.jpgWe find comfort in routine, in the “norm”. Even when suffering is the norm this remains true.

The individuals in the 5 of Pentacles are clearly suffering. Poverty, sorrow and hardship seem to surround them. They walk through the snow, heads down, barefoot and miserable. It reminds me of couples who fight all the time, but stay together anyway because of the fear of being alone. They appear to be in front of some sort of church. It almost looks as if the lights are on, and I get a warm, inviting impression. The message I get from my guides when I see this card in a reading is, “Look up!” All they need to do is look up and see that they can change their situation by seeking the comfort and support the church offers.
I am not a fan of organized religion, and have never felt especially welcome in churches, but I once found myself in much the same position as these two lost souls. I was locked out of my house, wandering the streets of my small town. There was about 2 feet of snow on the ground and I couldn’t reach anyone by cell phone to help me out. Just as I was settling on being down-in-the-dumps I looked up and noticed I was standing outside of a large Catholic church. I suddenly received an image of this card in my mind and decided I should go inside.
When I sat down in front of a large statue of Jesus I began to cry, quite unexpectedly. I cried for about 10 minutes and then I took out my journal and started writing. After that I meditated in the pew. I spent about an hour in the church all alone, listening to the water of the baptismal bath and watching the sun go down through the windows. I was so grateful for the warmth and peaceful solitude I was awarded there. I realized that I could have spent the whole night, fumbling around in the dark, my head down and my feet frozen. Instead I stepped out of my comfort-zone and took shelter in the church.
The point of my story and my interpretation of the 5 of Pentacles is that, no matter what is causing our suffering there is always something that serves as a way out. Change is inevitable and discomfort is an indicator that it is time to change. Look around you. What are you most afraid of? Where is an unlikely place for you to seek refuge? Ask yourself, would it hurt to give these things a try? Explore the things that make you feel uncomfortable, because they might be the very things that will offer you the refuge you need to release yourself from your own suffering.
Remember, we are not meant to suffer forever. If you are unhappy, learn what is at the root of your unhappiness and let go of it. Moving on and embracing change is the way to freedom from suffering.

14 responses to “When Suffering is the Norm

  1. Lovely post Kay… Churches were all built on the ley lines that exude the energy of the earth… I’ve always thought it a pity that man’s dominance had to spoil it all… I don’t believe we were meant to suffer though… we can learn through normal experiences, a bit of pain perhaps… without suffering… Maybe the old spiritual masters that taught about suffering being part of growing wise… didn’t get it completely right… and of course man has copied them, thinking that it is necessary… Maybe we be the change and not suffer, choosing paths that bring us joy… take care, Barbara

    • My guess is that these teachings exist to help us make sense of the suffering that already is. I would not claim that one who has not suffered could not be wise. I think in fact that those who can live without suffering must have learned to transcend duality and thus are very wise indeed! πŸ™‚ I like your thoughts Barbara. I am happy that you leave comments on my posts. Thank you!



  2. Many people become victims to their own insecurity. Just think that when we die we rot away and our skeletons are all alike. Diversity be damned and arguing who is best goes out the window. No skeleton has ever stated, “My bones are better than yours” Death is a great leveler and therefore feeling sorry for oneself is a real waste of time.
    Rather think that the time you have to yourself is precious and therefore be happy that you have it.

    • Barry, I agree with you wholeheartedly. I truly want to replace all areas of competition in my life with cooperation. I simply don’t believe in competing anymore. It is just a way to keep us separate from one another and this is not Truth. Death is a wonderful equalizer. It is a good idea to remember that! ❀

      Thanks for commenting and stopping by!!

  3. Suffering is a judgment, we make.

    I would pose a question, suffering compared to who, what?

    Wonder if life is going to get 100% harder what are you going to label that?

    I try to accept whatever my life’s situation at the moment without commenting, giving opinion or trying to file it by rank.

    It is like ordering a hamburger and after the first bite, you judge it as the worst burger ever,
    Problem is you are hungry and you just ruined that burger with words.

    • Marty,

      Thanks for the insightful comment. I love the burger analogy! I am working on developing a similar attitude of acceptance in my life. It is hard because I am finding some very deeply hidden negative tendencies that I picked up early in life. I am rummaging through my emotional body and trying to embrace the parts that feel healthy and accept the parts that are there that I want to judge and put down. It’s tough stuff, but your comment adds some humor to my battle so thanks again! πŸ™‚

  4. Pingback: Free Daily Tarot: What You Need is Within Reach | Don't Know Tarot·

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