As many of you know, up until the last few weeks, I was mired in a bout of depression triggered by the death of my beloved dad – AND – not being able to get there because of this blasted pandemic. All of my original family (FOO) and my children live in the States. I live in Canada. Enough said about that… mostly because it’s been written about ad nauseam around here. Feel free to poke around my posts and archives, if you’re interested.
I have often said that everything happens for a reason. I’ve believed it, too! But then I think of a baby dying or how loving and lovable people die lingering, horrific deaths. Or hateful, ugly people get to live what seems to be a charmed life. I can’t explain that. Nobody can.
“Everything happens for a reason, especially health challenges of the mind and body.“
This is the book that was lost in transit. I’d ordered several books together to defray the shipping costs. The other books – all on trauma – arrived immediately. The trauma books – and I – were friends, you see, all walking the same path. It was tough going, to be sure.
This one took its time, probably because it knew I wasn’t ready for it. <<< Truth, that one!
See, although it makes a kind of perverse sense that reading a book about how you’re not supposed to suffer WHILE YOU’RE SUFFERING would be helpful and possibly even wise… it actually IS NOT. Why? Because you’re not in the right frame of mind to take the truth of it in. I sure wasn’t!
But I’d come out just enough… those first early steps away from the pit (of depression and grief)… and lo and behold, this book arrived. Right on time, I’d say!
It’s hefty – in both size and material – with over 300 pages crammed wall-to-wall with info.
I could go on and on about all sorts of stuff Bauer says that I agree with… and some that I don’t.
I could tell you about the affirmations, questions and exercises that are included… some VERY good!
I could tell you that I went to find him on YouTube. Here is his personalized page. He’s actually on other’s pages more than his own but it only seems fitting to share his page: https://www.youtube.com/user/BlakeDBauer/feed
Instead, I’m going to share one sentence that seriously BLEW MY MIND:
“Based on my experience working intimately with tens of thousands of real human beings, I’ve found that our mental and emotional health is both the cause of and the solution to most forms of personal suffering.” (pg 37)
People, what do you think? To me, it makes SO MUCH SENSE!
Let’s go a little deeper:
“Without the struggle a butterfly experiences in breaking through its cocoon, there could be no strength in its wings, no flight, and ultimately no life.”― Blake D Bauer, You Were Not Born to Suffer
This quote was was said after a story about someone “helping” a butterfly after watching another butterfly struggle as it fought to get out of its cocoon. They literally cut the cocoon open, reasoning that it would have more strength without the struggle. In fact, it died, never able to open its wings. Breaking through the cocoon is necessary to build strength in its wings to fly.
There are some things we MUST go through to survive. I don’t know what they are and neither does anyone else. Like the butterfly, some things just need to happen to propel us forward.
And some things look like suffering but ARE NOT.
What do you think? Do butterflies suffer?
Some might think it akin to a birth… which… um… hurt. Was it suffering? Sure FELT like it! <<< While it’s going on, especially. After? Not so much… because we see the results … a dear new human.
This book attempts to answer the question… What *is* suffering?
And you know it gets spiritual. A Course in Miracles is referenced and there are quotes by wise, spiritual and intelligent thinkers peppered throughout. So yes, it *is* spiritual, though there is a whole section in the Introduction explaining the use of the word “God”. Bauer clearly states that he respects all religions and traditions. His use of the word God, he says, includes everything in the universe: intelligence, awareness, source, love and atomic energy. He said “everything” and he means it!
So, suffering is mental, emotional, and spiritual. Sounds about right to me.
But then he brings others into the mix:
- All religious and spiritual study eventually lead to love and kindness in various forms, and
- The only barriers between one human being and another are the unhealed emotions in our hearts and the limiting beliefs we hold in our heads.
Finally, he says this: THESE TWO REALIZATIONS HAVE SHAPED AND INSPIRED MUCH OF THIS BOOK.
Wowsers! Like I said… crammed full.
This is a book you crack the binding on… I mean, uh, I did. There is so so so so much! I went back-and-forth and back-and-forth again.
Oh, and the answer to suffering? I’ll let you buy your own copy to find out…
But I will share this:
It’s about the relationship you have with yourself, first. It’s learning to live authentically by accepting and loving who you are… and Bauer takes you though many modalities to figure it out. And yep, there’s meditation, exercise (both physical and mental) and transformation.
Let’s face it… you probably already know A LOT of this stuff… somewhere inside yourself. But this book puts it all in one place. That’s priceless. And this book is THAT GOOD.