Embracing suffering

I recently found a video on YouTube Chanel regarding how we humans often try to avoid unpleasant sensations, feelings, thoughts and situations. And as much as we try to avoid them, the more it seems that we have to face them, ending up making us more tired and drained. Something similar to this is with regards to suffering. We can’t avoid it, as its part of life.

But you may tell me,  «it is so unbearable and painful»! And I will answer – yes if you only had to focus all your attention only on this.

As for us Christians, if we were to constantly focus on how to avoid sin, we would actually love so little, or even worse – would not love at all.  Jesus also suffered, and if we were to focus only on suffering, we would never be able to understand the joy of resurrection.

Every day I meet people who are suffering in some sense, and I really like to watch how a person later changes the focus of attention from suffering to what is most important. What are their true values?

After all, values are like a compass on the road of life, which shows where I should go, and what kind of person I want to be. Pay attention – not to what to have but actually to who I want to be.

I am Ukrainian, where there was a lot of suffering in the history of my nation. This also involved and was experienced by many members of my family. Holodomor (every year on the fourth Saturday of November, we remember this event), wars, imprisonment for the simple “I am Ukrainian”. History repeats itself, and now one can see again how much the Ukrainian land is currently suffering. How brave Ukrainians are in the struggle for their own land, language, culture, and independence?

Yes, I also had a choice: between constantly crying, hating the enemy, complaining about injustice, in the end it is just suffering, and in between looking at my values and going into their direction once again. It was then that my husband and I decided to create the Malta4Ukraine Foundation. It was a difficult road, of which continues to this day. But it`s worth it.

Once, I worked in a refugee camp in Northern Kurdistan (Iraq), before going there I imagined that it will be very difficult and that many people will suffer. And yes, I saw a lot of pain in people’s eyes, the pain of grief, because they lost their relatives, homes, jobs and sometimes hopes.  But also, there I saw what real happiness is. What humanity can be. How a flower can bloom in the middle of the desert.

Suffering was, and obviously will be an integral part of our lives. And it depends on us whether our focus and attention will be: only on suffering or maybe we can try to turn and see the resurrection and live it. Or at least try to.

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