Suffering is Optional – Episode 82

AcceptanceWhat do we mean when we say “Pain is inevitable but suffering is optional?” What’s the difference? How can we avoid suffering?

Spencer and Maria share their experience about suffering and pain. We used this outline to guide our conversation.

  • What distinction does the quote make between pain and suffering?
  • Does it make sense to say “suffering is pain plus a story we tell ourselves?”
  • What forms can suffering take?
    • Worry.
    • Obsession.
    • Despair.
    • Dullness.
    • Self-pity.
    • Isolation.
    • ?
  • What tools does Al-Anon give is to stop turning pain into suffering?
  • Let go and let God.
  • Just for today.
  • One day at a time.
  • Loving detachment.
  • How important is it?
  • Live and let live.
  • This too shall pass.
  • Patience.
  • Prayer.
  • Hope.
  • Attitude of gratitude.
  • Connection with others — we are not alone.

Our topic for next week is Tradition 8, which states “Al-Anon Twelfth Step work should remain forever non-professional, but our service centers may employ special workers.” Why is this important? How does it help us in recovery? Other upcoming topics include “Am I caretaking or am I supporting someone?” and “the 4 M's: managing, manipulating, mothering and martyrdom.”

If you've got something to share on any of these topics, you can join the conversation. Please leave a voicemail at 734-707-8795, use the voicemail button to the right, or email with your questions or experience, strength and hope. Or just leave a comment right here.

Music for the show

The Smiths – Never Had No One Ever

John Lee Hooker – It Serves Me Right to Suffer

Zac Brown Band – No Hurry

The Music in the show

[bandcamp track=510377286 bgcol=FFFFFF linkcol=4285BB size=venti] (intro)

[bandcamp  size=venti bgcol=ffffff linkcol=4285BB track=4247073111] (interludes and end)

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