Suffering: The Gateway to Happiness? – by Lynette Slaman-Garcia

It is strange how it seems hard to be creative and write when I’m not in emotional pain.  We all draw our creativity from somewhere.  Mine is hardship, heartache and pain it seems (sigh…chuckle).  It has been at the lowest or most challenging points in my life that I have been the most creative.  Maybe such darkness prompts the soul to express itself…to break free from the chains that seem to be holding it down.  Is it during such times of external and internal suffering, resignation and humility that one draws closer to God; when there is nothing left to cling to but His Love, His Beauty and His memory? Is suffering the gateway to happiness…to self-actualization?


Abdu’l‑Bahá explains:


“The mind and spirit of man advance when he is tried by suffering. The more the ground is ploughed the better the seed will grow, the better the harvest will be. Just as the plough furrows the earth deeply, purifying it of weeds and thistles, so suffering and tribulation free man from the petty affairs of this worldly life until he arrives at a state of complete detachment. His attitude in this world will be that of divine happiness. Man is, so to speak, unripe: the heat of the fire of suffering will mature him. Look back to the times past and you will find that the greatest men have suffered most.” (Paris Talks)

Mike Moum
Author: Mike Moum

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