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6.10.2018

To several friends who are suffering terribly. With much less Affliction James was suffering terribly through chemo and major painful cancer treatment cancer surgeries not too many years ago. After several months he had a conversation with himself like this below, and his suffering reduced gigantically. And....

To several friends who are suffering terribly. With much less Affliction James was suffering terribly through chemo and major painful cancer treatment cancer surgeries not too many years ago. After several months he had a conversation with himself like this below, and his suffering reduced gigantically. And.... when he suffers with the world's ills today he has similar conversations with himself..... James, you are going through a tremendous amount right now and I can see you're suffering a lot. I have a very strong sense that some of that suffering cannot be avoided but that if you make the choice you can avoid much of it, maybe most of it. I would atleast like to tell you what I mean so that you can make the choice. The physical impulses that your body in your situation are pouring down on you are unavailable, but how you react to them, how much attention you give to them and how much attention you devote elsewhere might be pretty significantly under your control. Oh, I don't mean it is as simple as just redirect your attention. I'm not sure anyone can do that and I'm not sure that you can. But I do think there's an answer that results in the same thing that's a little bit more specific. What I suggest you consider is that you become more aware of when your attention is understandablly going to your personal suffering. Don't feel bad about it, there's no use in that. But increase your awareness of it. And when you become aware that understandablly you are focusing your attention on your personal suffering, see if you wouldn't prefer the idea of focusing your attention and your energies no matter how abstractly, in the direction of someone you care about who's suffering even more than you. James, I know you care about the people in Palestine. Maybe when you become aware of your attention going to yourself you will decide to make the choice to focus some of that energy instead on those in Palestine who are suffering more than you. And just as you would respond to your own suffering, try and respond to theirs. Even if just on Facebook posting, commenting, reposting from your heart. Maybe study their situation a little bit more. Maybe do some planning to try and imagine how you could try and be more helpful to them. This is an example. The point is to find some population or populations that your heart can really really care about and direct your heart for them. To some degree it is likely that that will pull you from your own pain into the joy of trying to help them.  And James, also remember the times when you have been suffering, and you had the wisdom to bring into your mind the face, even to make eye contact, of a Jesus carrying the cross, or a Palestinian child heroically suffering in an Israeli prison. And how almost immediately doing so placed your own suffering in it's pitiful little context, not in a way that shamed you, but that in a way that gave you tremendous immediate and sustained relief. And made you smile.

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