The Value of Our Suffering – What I Had To Learn


In your suffering find a safe place to bloom.

Not all suffering is ignoble. I had prayed to know what my purpose was. One night, when my marriage of 30 years had ended and I had relinquished every physical possession, I stared out the window of my car near Palos Verdes Estates. In the chill of a cool evening I cried to know what I was missing. A police officer tapped my window. A woman in the mansion above the hill had seen my lights. He said this was a dangerous location. Then asked what was I doing there. Actually, I was so distraught I couldn’t see my plan. It was

as though the Heavens had closed. But just then they “parted.” He apparently saw my tears. I wish I knew his name. I’ll never forget his words. They weren’t cliche’s from a speaker or words carved from a bumper sticker. He said something I recall this day, “If God helped bring you in it, He’ll bring you out of it. All you have to do is your part.”

Pico Iyer in a New York Times article wrote: “None of us expects life to be easy; Job merely wants an explanation for his constant unease. To live, as Nietzsche (and Roberta Flack) had it, is to suffer; to survive is to make sense of the suffering. OR put it as Kobayashi Issa, a haiku master in the 18th century, did: “This world of dew is a world of dew,” he wrote in a short poem. “And yet, and yet. …” Known for his words of constant affirmation, Issa had seen his mother die when he was 2, his first son die, his father contract typhoid fever, his next son and a beloved daughter die.”

For those of you who are suffering and those of you who will – A mudslide in Washington kills scores. A train derails. Children worlds apart from us die of starvation as we toss food merely approaching an expiration date. A friend search a life time for a lost love finds her as she succumbs to cancer. Do these signal there is no God? No. If suffering is universal in time and scope then there must be a purpose to it. TO BUILD US UP! Hence, climb out of bed, seize a new opportunity out of the ruin. Create not get a new job. Find a new love by making yourself ready from the inside out.

“What he does is give you the power to believe you can do something you have never done before.” Coaching client. 

Life coaching, personal coaching, top coaching, fear, high performance


Jim Woods is president of The Jim Woods Group. A management consulting firm. Go here to see his work He advises and speaks to organizations large and small on how to increase top line growth in times of uncertainty and complexity. Some of his speaking and consulting clients include: U.S. Army, MITRE Corporation, Pitney Bowes, Whirlpool, and 3M. See more at his website

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Posted in Change, Possibility Thinking, Success and Abundance

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