The Flaying of Marsyas - TitianI was reading about suffering last night. I made me aware I’ve not suffered in a number of years.  I’ve suffered in the past, that’s for sure. But I’m not suffering today. It’s almost curious.

It’s definitely good. It leaves me available to help people who are suffering. I know a lot of them and this is exactly what I want to do.

I’ve been a little sick for weeks now. It’s a cold I can’t shake. But the other day, I really felt drained. I mean, I felt like every bit of air or juice or energy had been sucked from my body.

It was such a profound feeling, I thought it was supernatural. There was no reason for me to be laid out like that.

I thought of the people I visit in the hospital.  Some of them are so very sick. They’re suffering, as are their families and others who love them.

I thought they must feel drained in this way. You’re just wiped out. Your lifeblood has left you.

I could be in their place, so easily. Some day I probably will be in their place. But today there is no suffering of any kind in my life. I tremendously fortunate.

Are you suffering today? How do you treat your suffering?

36 thoughts on “Suffering”

  1. I am worried that you could be catching something at the hospital that might make you sick.
    It is courageous (on every level) to help those people who suffer and really need someone by their side in bad times.
    Take care of yourself too, you are precious.

  2. keep your self healthy 🙁

    I know loads of people suffering.. I know I am.. but I don’t care that I am.. I have to keep on moving

  3. I have to be more concerned about going to the hospital and getting sick people sicker. This is just a cold.

    I really think I felt drained the way I did, to open my eyes. People feel like crap on a stick as they say…and still need to keep going…and they can’t.

    I see all kinds in the hospital. People are up and around, but others are not up and around. They’re so knocked down in the dirt. It’s just possible to have no energy – period. You have no choice but to succumb,

  4. I have felt this way a lot the last month…drained. And yet I have to keep going. Just waiting for Neptune to clear my Sun and Jupiter to cross my AC. It won’t be long now.

  5. There’s no quicker way of raising your energy than through nutrition. I’ve been drinking kale/apple juice and beet/carrot this winter and although my partner had two horrid back to back colds, I never got one.

    And homemade vegetable soup is also great. Feel better.

    1. Thanks, Lasksmi. I’m fasting for Lent so my diet is pretty controlled right now. I think I got a cold, got rid of it and got another one. That drained feeling came from something else.

      I mean, I go the hospital and see people sick and sometimes dying. But this was like trading places with them. It gave me perspective…seeing someone compromised it one thing. It’s outside of you. Physically feeling what they do is very different…and the result is that it expanded my compassion…and my gratitude.

  6. On the topic of draining energy……I was driving home from an appt just hours before Mars turned retro a week or so ago. All of a sudden I felt the energy drain from me. It was a visceral, felt experience. And my energy has been down ever since. As I have 4 planets conjunct in Libra (one of which is Mars) I think this really does have to do with its retrograde motion.

  7. My energy’s completed drained, but it’s for a good reason – I’m in the first trimester of pregnancy! Still there are mornings when I just cannot get out of bed except to vomit, and those days feel very hard because the nausea and exhaustion last all day. I have to go to work and I have to take care of my toddler. So, I don’t get much slack although I have had to take some sick leave on the days I just.can’t. move. This is nothin’ though compared to how I have suffered in the past. I am so grateful that I suffered a lot when I was young. Nothing phases me now. I know I can handle anything. I know when I meet someone who is suffering, how to respond and I do. I can’t wait to get back to working in a hospital doing palliative care, it is so rewarding, Elsa I know exactly how you feel. But right now for a variety of reasons I am at a desk job. I plan to go back to hospital after a few years at the desk, when my kids are older and I can do shifts. Suffering makes you stronger, and makes you more compassionate. It’s made me less shallow and more appreciative of the real things in life. I’ll take function over form any day, for instance. It’s hard when you are in it but infinitely valuable.

  8. I think I have been fortunate myself, considering all of the suffering I see around me. Anything that bothers me seems miniscule.

    My friend lost her husband, only 50 years old and left a young child and teenage boy. That blew me away and my piddly problems seemed ridiculous in comparison.

    I was sick to my stomach before that and even more sick after that.

    I can’t imagine dealing with people in a hospital. I hate hospitals. When I walk into them, I feel everyone’s pain. Its a painful experience for me.

  9. I can definitely relate! I suffered ALOT in the past, and my husband and I suffered last October/hunters moon till new years, it was tough. My own suffering before marrying my husband, was internal suffering — lots of abuse, mentally, physically, 12th house imprisonment kind of thing. When i look back, i feel that it’s another person who occupied my body and suffered through that mental torture. I also feel too, that because i’m not suffering like i was, there is also an availability for me to help too, as i do on my spare time in real life. Also, learning about astrology has helped me see and heal better, i didnt feel as if i was crazy and everything seemed to make sense. I’m just really happy now, and it’s a good thing, it’s like coming out of the phoenix, or out of the ashes of fire. You die and reborn analogy.

  10. Suffering is part of human existence, if you don’t experience suffering, then you’ll never know what its like to be human. Doesn’t matter what age or time in history your born into, but our awareness of it deepens with that Neptune transit at the peak of its cosmic power now in Pisces..

  11. I am a family member of one who suffers from a number of chronic diseases. She is so delicate, so fragile and no tomorrow is a given. We all suffer with her. To cope, I engage fully in every thing I can, not just with her, but in life. From art to reading, from gardening to cooking. There is a great power in simply being in whatever a single moment holds. I try to anchor myself with loving regard. It isn’t easy but it is doable… most days.

  12. It has been a long dark winter here in MI. I have hibranated for days at a time. It’s seasonal. SAD. I get it. I’m doing more yoga to connect to the aches and pains. Listen to what they are teaching me about the holding patterns of my body. I have been fasting and detoxing for Lent too. Letting go of the past. Releasing the toxins that have settled into the dark places. I have to be careful not to overdo it on those days.I want to get it over with. I was swimming in my head the other day. Then Spirit gives me a boost of energy and I move through it.

  13. I did a lot of suffering as a child and teen (and fled the coop at 23!) so after that my sufferings abated (it was emotional – my parents were extremely controlling and at times abusive). Now I inflict a lot of my issues upon myself, but physically and emotionally, I am not really suffering at all. As for the energy – I have been drained since September. I do juicing and green blended drinks, but physically I felt drained nonetheless. I’m caring a lot for my aging mom who needs me to help her with her basic tasks (like showering for example) while my husband has been traveling every week since school started. I think it is related more to giving giving giving time of my life now and not really able/receptive to receiving. Anyway – the frigid winter didn’t help, the loneliness didn’t help, the everyone seems dependent upon me didn’t help, and the ticket, two backing up boo boos and the ice dam raining over my kitchen stove didn’t help either (did I mention that my Mercury Retrograde was hellish this go-round? Normally I breeze through ’em, but this time was a “God Wink” that kept saying “pay attention!!!!!”) And now, finally a relief with Lent. Our church is doing a wellness-themed lenten season where instead of giving up on stuff, we are incorporating and increasing positive well being and mutual spiritual/intellectual/physical nutrition on multiple levels. Its a lot easier when other people need nourishment not just me. The exhaustion and hibernation instincts I am listening to – we are all in bed earlier and trying to get improved sleep. Here is a little “receivable” I got yesterday: I realized that I need to really really clear my physical space – make it more sacred. So in the next week I hope to intentionally and prayerfully clear/clean one area of my home at a time to help turn all of our energy around. I’ll let you know how it goes. Hope your cold improves – hey isn’t a vacation just around the corner for you, Elsa? It seems to me that this cold is a sign you really need a break!

  14. Well………. I was just thinking the same thing today after the funeral for my children’s father.
    Had a virus for 6 weeks. Work is hostile… add things and more things. Life has a way, and yet you keep going and doing. The truth is there is always someone less fortunate, more sickly, and has more troubles than ourselves. Each day standing is a blessing. Life is always going to have it’s ups and downs. Learn to appreciate the ups. Lend a hand to the less fortunate and to understand it’s a polarized world…. comfort can be found in the compromise.

  15. My friend posted this quote today that summarizes well the type of suffering I have endured over the last 10 years:

    “Several times in my life I’ve gone through long periods without any kind of physical contact. The hunger it produces is deep and low; it’s possible to lose track of it, to forget or fail to perceive how it’s emptied everything out of you and made the world papery and thin. Touch starved, you brush against existence like a stick against dry leaves. You become insubstantial yourself, a hungry ghost.”
    — Hari Kunzru

    My deprivation has even gone into a negative nuclear waste type of gunkiness as I only seem to attract awful selfish objectification ridden men these days.
    Not to fret, though, my beloved has promised to move here to me once the snow thaws. We have waited 18 years for our time. Soon. Soon.

  16. Yes it’s another world, that drained world. We can be beside a person like that but they are separated as if by an invisible membrane. The aching loneliness of that.
    Once that was my everyday experience & now, I don’t know how I endured it. Just how it was so I just did.
    Yes it builds resilience & compassion & depth to be with your own or to feel another’s suffering. Although when its your own it’s just hard.

    1. I actually feel we’re sometimes kinda selfish for we only seem to take OUR own suffering into account only, while nearly every single one of our deeds, and our consumistic lifestyle, causes a huge amount of suffering to Nature and other sentient beings.

  17. Suffering is something I do understand. For those who suffer, I have complete sympathy, empathy, and compassion. I’ve experienced it myself physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Of all three spiritual suffering seems to be the most insidious. The other day you offered advice for how to stop bringing people into your life that created havoc or pain. I agreed with your advice because many people do bring unnecessary suffering into their own life through life choices –specifically mates which is the topic you addressed. Spiritual (and emotional which I believe are irrevocably intertwined) suffering stand apart from the suffering caused by poor life choices and perhaps even physical suffering. It is true that suffering is a part of the human experience but that doesn’t mean we all have to embrace it and stoically accept it. With that opinion I disagree. My own suffering pales in comparison with the people who are drawn to me. I think the reason I have repeatedly and consistently drawn broken, suffering, misunderstood people to me is because of my natal chart. I have four of my five personal planets in the 12th house. When others come into my life I recognize them—I can clearly see into them—I see the fragility, their broken places, vulnerabilities, and their suffering. I see this as a gift, but, then again my natal chart is one that doesn’t indicate I would further harm these people by being able to see their spirits so clearly. Instead, I offer comfort and compassion. I can’t fix it for them, but I can love in their humanity.

  18. Thank you for this post and comments. Today is not a suffering day but, until it’s noticed as that, it IS because the memory is embedded. No, no suffering today.

  19. With Neptune going over my Pisces Asc (repeatedly) opposite Pluto (6th), I’m having weird and other worldly health experiences! Things come and go with no reason (maybe new allergies?) and can’t be diagnosed. Energy definitely down and it’s extremely frustrating!

  20. Suffering is my middle name. lol. @James. I’m having Neptune opposition Pluto too! Neptune conj. MH to Pluto (in the 4th) conj. IC. I cannot remember the last time I felt 100% healthy. Am not old, by any means, but am secretly picking out caskets every time I go to Costco. I say to myself, oh I’ll look good in that one. Can’t wait til, slow as molasses, Neptune finally moves on. I even keep putting off finding a job – just b/c I have more bad days than good days these days. 🙂

  21. I was thinking along the lines with Jilly, transcending. What rules suffering? I’d put it with Scorpio, the 8th house or pluto, but just wanted input on that.

    (((Jilly))) & hope you feel tip top soon Elsa,

  22. I have suffered most of my life and although I’m not even 50 I feel like I am ready to die at this point. I’ve had it. Horrible childhood, failed marriage, job loss, bankruptcy, poverty, layoffs, betrayals, I could count the number of GOOD years I’ve had on ONE hand. I fail to see any real hope for a future anymore.

  23. Beautiful words! It seems like you have “Chiron” influence in this article; your intention to helping and healing people.
    Also, the Chiron configuration often describes what connects an individual with his or her inner suffering, and also offers a route to healing.

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