Emotional suffering and adversity will often lead to the  learning of important life lessons and to the embracing of beautiful inner truths.

All suffering is caused as a result of choosing false and limiting beliefs – that you have accepted as actual truths – about yourself, others, and about the way you believe the world should be.

These beliefs emerge over time due to your fears and judgements, and have been imposed by your ego through past experience, parenting, education, and what simply is rationale gone awry

I can think of more than one occasion where I let my emotions rule the roost, righteous in my wrath, cape billowing behind me on the wind, all while pointing a finger and ready to battle with anyone who wronged me and stepped in my way. Rarely, did that take me to the place I truly desired.

When you choose to blame others for circumstances in your life, you will suffer a lot.

Most of the time (as I was back then), you are likely out of awareness of the fallacies that cause your misery.

Even if you think you think you accept these inhibiting thoughts, you will find that you will still physically and emotionally react to them. Every single negative thought you choose to engage with, creates a cascade of physical reactions that you feel in your body.

Understand that the body’s triggered emotional and physical responses to false beliefs, are messages from your Unconscious Mind and Higher Self, telling you that something is wrong –  telling you that you are out of alignment with the true magnificence of who you are.

Your suffering is the mode of delivery of that message.

Think about that, what a gift it is to have the awareness that suffering means we need to do something differently to bring ourselves into balance.

And you’ll always know when you “get it right,” because it feels right.

I’ve heard some people worry aloud that they won’t know what that feels like because they think they’ve never felt it before. But, that’s just another trick of the mind.

  1. It will feel like the absence of whatever you feel when you’re suffering.
  2. It will feel like peace and joy. This is the natural state of the soul and this essence is always buried within your memory.

“The first step in healing is accepting responsibility for your own perceptions, and your own actions.”

If you’re still suffering, you have not yet found the courage to do something differently. Bounding down the bunny hole and hiding is not going to get you to where we want to be. I know this because I’ve done it far too many times before. My own warren was replete with warmth and conveniences – none of which masked the suffering that I chose to wallow in.

Upon realising that your thoughts are clouded by feelings of anger, sadness, fear, hurt, guilt and anxiety (that have all been surreptitiously planted there by ego and rooted with what it presents as irrefutable proof), you can begin to free yourself from the gloom through awareness.

With the knowledge that ego operates from fear, you can begin to see that all its premises are formed through flawed logic.  From there, you discover that:

Ego will whisper to you that your suffering will end and that peace comes when everything falls into place. Don’t give power to this lie woven by ego and laced into your psyche through fear.

These beliefs can be so alluring because they let you off the hook.  But, when you wait for everything to fall into place, peace will not come. You have to go to it.

Your Higher Self will lead you to that place of peace within yourself, and when you arrive, everything else will fall into place.  As you release all that does not serve you, as you shift your perception, as you move from resistance to acceptance,  and as you open your heart and mind, you will be guided there.

When you come to realise that you hold your answers within, you will discover a new sense of power and love for yourself.

Underneath all the layers of pseudo protection you’ve covered yourself in – at the core of your being, you are a divine spark of Light.


Acknowledgement: The cover photo for this blog is a gorgeous piece of sculpture by Paige Bradley, titled Expansion. Paige is a classically trained American sculptor living and working in London, England. Her representative figurative bronzes reveal the beauty of the human form as well as the complex, often contradictory, yearnings of the human spirit.


35 Responses to The Gift of Suffering

  1. Peggy Nolan says:

    Oh Shelley – this is beautiful. I remember when my suffering ended and the pit in my stomach disappeared. I remember noticing how blue the sky was and how green the grass was. Everything seemed to radiate light. Brilliant light that shimmered wherever I looked. My awareness has adjusted to this radiant light…tough stuff still happens, I simply no longer choose to stay in the muck I used to get stuck in when tough stuff happened. xo Peggy

    • Shelley Lundquist says:

      That’s so wonderful, Peggy. Your response resonated so deeply within me. I live and love from this place of radiance and reach to share it with the world. Even the muck has beauty in it.

      That is not to say there is not still a lot of suffering out there. I see it. I feel it. And i reach to the illuminate the darkness in any way that i can. It is my purpose. It is who I am. Love & Light in action.

      The Light in me honours the Light in you, my friend. xp

  2. Brandy Schuster says:

    What does it feel like to be connected to your Higher Self? It feels like peace and joy, its a natural state of the soul. I love it! Well said Shelley! This is a beautiful article I will read over and over again to really give all of your great nuggets throughout the pause, contemplation, and reflection they deserve. Words to feed the spirit!

    • Shelley Lundquist says:

      Thank you so much for your kind words, Brandy. It does feel joyous and peaceful and well, like love overflowing. I am so glad you know that feeling.

      In a deep state of Oneness with the Light, I was gifted with hearing the most beautiful music. And I was so overcome when I realised that the sound was coming from me. It was the sound of my vibration in harmony with the Universe. It is always with me, and I know my divine purpose here.

      Sending you Love & Light, my friend.

  3. Dawn says:

    Thank you for this beautiful post, Shelley! I truly believe so much light, love, and healing enters the world through the experiences we so want to avoid or ones we might at first label “bad” or “unwanted.” We know the light better by having faced what does not at first appear to be that light, but in the end it’s all light and love, isn’t it?

    • Shelley Lundquist says:

      Thank you, Dawn. You are so right. I learned to stop labeling experiences as bad. Everything has something to teach us, and everything is an opportunity for love and compassion.

      Yes, in the end… it IS all light and love.
      Sending you some right now. xo

  4. Sheila Callaham says:

    I love how you write, “Thankfully, we are all blessed with a built-in beacon – the mind-body-connection.” Sadly, so many have been programmed to turn off that inner guidance so they don’t understand how it works. Fortunately, wonderful healers like you are helping to change that so that everyone learns to reconnect to their inner wisdom and understand that joy and happiness truly is our natural state! Beautifully done, Shelley!

    • Shelley Lundquist says:

      Thank you so much, Sheila. Yes, many are not tuned in to that inner guidance. They are tuned into the pain. Ironically, the pain/suffering is the vehicle of discovery. They just have to take control of the ride.

      I will open a healing centre one day. And i will travel the world helping others discover the wisdom they carry within, the wisdom they don’t know is there. It’s all so simple once we let go of the decision that it’s hard.

      Namaste, dear Sheila. xo

  5. Shann says:

    Such a wonderful post. Beneath our personal stories of pain and suffering we can access wholeness, love and compassion. xx

    • Shelley Lundquist says:

      Thank you, Shann. And you are so right. The wholeness is always there. We are not broken. And when we think we are, it is merely the illusion we’ve bought into. Underneath all the blankets of misbeliefs, we are Love. And that is what we are here to live. xx

  6. Debra Reble says:

    Shelley I love this article as it speaks to my heart. I have used suffering in my own life to catapult me into transformation. Suffering always makes me stronger but I try today to rise above and use it as a trampoline to launch me forward. Blessings to you and the amazing work you do on the planet! hugs

  7. Shelley Lundquist says:

    Oh, dear Debra. Your own post so resonated with me this morning. I love your joyful heart. And i love that! Here’s to trampolining our way through life! Blessings to you and the beautiful gifts you share making this world a better place. ((hugs))

  8. Chara says:

    Shelley, your focus on letting the higher self guide is wonderful. Suffering can mean so many things. It’s in its highest form, as you say, when we let our higher self guide our response to it.

    • Shelley Lundquist says:

      Thank you, Chara. The answers are all within, and we have to continue to open ourselves to be guided there. It is such a breathtaking reward to find our way home.

  9. Mary Robertson says:

    You don’t have to believe everything that you think. It is only when we go through the suffering that we learn to believe this. You are a very wise lady and a gifted writer and have given me a gentle nudge with this post today. Thank you!

    • Shelley Lundquist says:

      You are so kind, Mary. And your own wisdom has gently given me a nudge or two recently, as well. Thank YOU!

  10. Debra Oakland says:

    This is a beautiful article Shelley and a great reminder to end the blame game. People have different degrees of connection the pain body which can wreak havoc when they continue to connect with it. Suffering is self imposed. When the connection is severed, the vibrational frequency raised sufficiently – WOW! Life if lived in an empowered joyful state of magnificent magical moments! xox

    • Shelley Lundquist says:

      Beautifully said, Debra. And when we sever our connections to suffering, and raise our vibration, we create a beautiful opus in harmony with the Universe. It is the gift we were meant to share. xox

  11. Minette says:

    What a beautiful post, I loved this paragraph in particular. “Your Higher Self will lead you to that place of peace within yourself, and when you arrive, everything else will fall into place. As you release all that does not serve you, as you shift your perception, as you move from resistance to acceptance, and as you open your heart and mind, you will be guided there.”I believe this to be true and have experienced it often but I appreciated this post today as an opportunity to look at where I am still operating from ego and not from love.

    Hugs, Minette
    Minette Riordan, Ph.D.

    Ready for some creative ways to relieve stress?
    Free 8-week course: Let the Crayons out of the Box!

    • Shelley Lundquist says:

      Thank you, Minette. I think we all still have these ego tests… and when we learn to develop the awareness that they are illusions, we can just back away and make room for the thoughts to move right on through. Love will always lead us in the right direction.


  12. Deanna Heiliger says:

    Shelley, this is such a wise post! Ego is so tricky, disguising itself in fear, fear that we are all too comfortable with. We all need to take the time to connect with our higher self, that is where peace and truth come to us! Thank you for your beautiful words!

    • Shelley Lundquist says:

      Yes, dear Deanna, when we connect to Higher Self, this IS where peace and truth flow to us. This is the essence of our being. Thank you for your kind words. xo

  13. Candi Deal says:

    This is powerful – it helped me realize I still have some work to do. Thank you!

    • Shelley Lundquist says:

      I’m so glad, Candi. Everything I write is always as much as a reminder to myself as it is to share with the world. 🙂

  14. Jessy Morrison says:

    Shelley exceptionally well written, and to the point. I can envision your flaming red hair and cape ready to do battle. Even have witnessed some of that when we were in class together. You have evolved into an amazing coach and writer! It is a blessing knowing you.

    • Shelley Lundquist says:

      Thank you so much, Jessy. That means a lot to me. I smile with love and compassion on reflecting back to that woman. It was so wonderful to set her free.

      You are a blessing to me, my friend. And I am filled with gratitude to be sharing this journey with you. ((hugs))

  15. Amina says:

    Dear Shelley, I am currently drowning in sorrow and pain because of the endless suffering of the innocent children due to the war in my home country. Everywhere I look I see only pain, and death without reason. I am incapable of doing much or changing anything, and all I do is pray and cry. I am also experiencing a major crisis concerning my faith, and see nothing but senseless dying of the innocent, and see no light at the end of the tunnel. I even doubt that there IS an end… Can you offer a word of advice? It shall be much appreciated.

    • Shelley Lundquist says:

      Dear Amina,
      I am so sorry for your pain. It is difficult to bare the senseless deaths in the world around us.

      All we can each do is take responsibility for what we bring to the world. And what we must learn is to bring love and compassion to every moment, no matter how hard it is. Sending love to those who we see as unworthy, is the only way we can heal this planet and its people. When we turn to hate, we create more hate, and more darkness.

      I do know that there is a message in all pain. There is something you need to learn to let go of your sorrow. Your answers are within you. Find a quiet place and clear your mind. Do not try to think of the answer or the question. Merely ask what you need to learn to let go of this pain. And allow the answer to be given to you without thought.

      And as for faith, when we learn to open our hearts and live from a place of love and compassion, we begin to tap into peace, and our answers are revealed to us. Our answers are always within.

      If there is anything else i can do to help you, please do not hesitate to contact me.

      Sending you so much Love & Light and healing hugs. Shelley

  16. Kathleen Tozier says:

    “…righteous in my wrath, cape billowing behind me on the wind, all while pointing a finger and ready to battle with anyone who wronged me” exactly describes me a couple of years ago, and resonates very deeply with me. For many months I was so focused on how my now-ex-husband had wronged me, and was so incredibly angry at his deception, that my physical, emotional, and spiritual health all suffered terribly. It wasn’t until I consciously chose to let go of the anger–and the blame/victim mentality–that I was able to re-empower myself, heal, and move into the next phase of my life. I actively work against getting caught in the soup of negative emotion these days, and use the energy it frees up to create healing by accepting things for what they are and finding the lesson in them. I think it’s imperative to cultivate trusting our innate intuition, as all the information we need to heal ourselves is contained within if we but learn to listen for it, and trust ourselves enough to take the advice.

    • Shelley Lundquist says:

      Very wise words you share, Kathleen. I am so glad you’ve come to such a powerful understanding and awareness in how to trust oneself and to make choices that take us toward the life we want to lead. ((hugs))

  17. Shakti says:

    “If you’re still suffering, you have not yet found the courage to do something differently. ”
    This is what stuck out the most in such an honest awareness of life. Finding ways of being and becoming the courage to overcome the suffering.
    I feel like that is what the past year has been like for me. Claiming this power for myself. And believing I have it abailable at all times.
    Thank you for writing such an eloquent blog post.
    Xoxo Shakti

    • Shelley Lundquist says:

      Thank you, Shakti. Holding this place of awareness allows us to pay attention, figure out what we’re doing wrong, and to make choices that honour who we are. If it doesn’t feel right.. it usually isn’t!

      Keep shining, my friend. xo

  18. Leah says:

    Beautiful message! Thank you, Shelley.

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