By Blake D. Bauer ~~~
There are only two mistakes one can make along the road to truth; not going all the way, and not starting. – Buddha
After years of desperately searching for happiness, purpose and true love, I started to ask myself:
If the most liberating perspective is to view ourselves as God in human form, which implies we both chose and created our lives and experiences in their entirety, then why would we ever choose to suffer or create pain for ourselves or others? Theologically, this question can be framed as: why did God create suffering? If we are that intelligent and powerful, why would we ever choose to hurt ourselves by not loving ourselves? Why would we ever choose to forget who we truly are or why we came here? Why would we create an ego, or a separate self, and thereby forget our unity with God, the universe and all life? Why would we choose to forget that our true nature is an infinite source of pure unconditional love and that we do not need to search for love outside of ourselves?
I asked myself these questions regularly for a period of time, because they felt like the final piece to the puzzle in my quest for lasting inner peace and freedom. I felt that because you and I are one with God, we should be able to understand the mind and logic of God. Eventually, you could say I was shown, or that I remembered, that the reason why we all choose to create suffering for ourselves is that we may bring unconditional love, kindness and forgiveness into the physical world. We also choose to experience what does not feel good in order to create a contrast with what does feel good, which then provides a touchstone to direct our choices and actions towards whatever supports our health and happiness.
In knowing what it’s like to feel pain, having hurt both ourselves and others in the past, we cannot help but be more kind, forgiving and compassionate.
The logic behind this ultimate spiritual truth is that if we can view our suffering as a purposeful choice that we made in order, eventually, to learn to forgive ourselves for the act of making this choice, starting with our choice in parents and all the challenges that came with it, we can truly take responsibility for our healing and happiness at the very core of our psyche and being. If we are indeed God in human form, then we created this process specifically to bring forth our capacity to accept and forgive others, which is the essence of unconditional love. In knowing what it’s like to feel pain, having hurt both ourselves and others in the past, we cannot help but be more kind, forgiving and compassionate. We also learn not to take things so personally, which is liberating in and of itself. The reason this awareness is so important is that if we truly want to enjoy our lives, find fulfilling work and create healthy relationships, we have no choice but to take full responsibility for everything that we experience. This means we cannot blame God, our parents, our children, our spouse or anyone for any reason, because when we do, we continue to create suffering, depression and disease.
In the beginning of my own healing and spiritual journey I believed that responsibility and freedom could not exist together. However, I later realized that in order to liberate myself from suffering and truly enjoy my life, I had to commit fully to my life’s purpose and to relating to myself with loving acceptance every day. I had to take complete responsibility for every single thought, emotion, spoken word, action and experience in my life. Today, it’s only through a devotion to being kind and true to myself in each situation, even when I’m scared, that life continually opens doors to an ever-expanding freedom, joy and peace. I am humbled each day as I accept my life challenges as though they were agreements I made with the universe and with God before this lifetime, because by doing so, I find the strength and courage to walk my destined path to the end, knowing that giving up or turning around are not options and will only lead back to suffering.
Shambhala Mountain Center hosts Beyond Suffering: Unconditional Self Love, Mindfulness, Meditation & Qi Gong Retreat with Blake D. Bauer, December 2–4 — click here to learn more
About the Author
Blake D. Bauer is an internationally recognized author, counselor, qigong master, and alternative medicine practitioner. His best-selling book You Were Not Born To Suffer and pioneering work focus on unconditional self-love as the key to self-healing, fulfilling your life’s purpose, and awakening spiritually. Bringing together what he’s found to be the most effective spiritual practices and holistic approaches to well-being, Blake’s work has successfully guided thousands of people around the world to greater health and freedom in mind and body. // Blake D. Bauer