Do you believe the only way you can grow is if you suffer first? Most of us have been taught so. This episode is all about calling it out and ending our suffering addiction so we can live lives of joy, ease and bliss.
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Episode 206 – How To End Your Addiction to Suffering with Sahara Rose
By Sahara Rose
Namaste. It’s Sahara Rose, and welcome back to the “Highest Self” podcast, a place where we discuss what makes you your soul’s highest evolvement.
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I just came back from my two-week honeymoon in Fiji where my husband and I stayed on literally a deserted island while there were ten other people there, but we didn’t see them, and it was such a beautiful experience to just really integrate, and think, especially after the wedding, and all of the, you know, people that were there, and months of planning, and just to take a step back.
And one thing that I noticed that I want to talk about on today’s episode is that all of us, to some level, are addicted to suffering. However, if we don’t become aware of this addiction and take measures to reevaluate and retrack our steps to move towards contentment, then we will remain on this rollercoaster of suffering, which I believe most people are on.
So are you addicted to suffering? I mean, if I was like, “Do you want a cup of suffering,” like hell no, why would you want that? No one wants to suffer, no one’s like, “Sign me up for the suffering.” Like no, we all say we want to be happy, we want an easy life, we want to have fun. But why do we keep finding ourselves in situations that bring forth suffering?
Well, some say that suffering is just the quintessential human experience. But I’d like to question that and say, “Does it have to be?” You know, one area that I disagree with Buddhism is that just the human life is suffering, and the reason why we meditate is to alleviate ourselves from the suffering. And honestly, I believe from the highest self consciousness what humans can be we don’t have to live lives of suffering. In fact, joy and contentment can be our base norm.
So, if we don’t want to suffer, why do we keep ending up in jobs we hate, shitty situations, bad relationships, stress, agony, anxiety, why do we keep ending up there? So let’s take a step back. What happens when we suffer? When we suffer, we feel. Right? Is it easier to just feel the excitement of, you know, getting a new packet, your friend coming over that you haven’t seen for a long time, your husband cooking you a dinner. Is it easier to feel that joy? Or is it easier to feel the pain if you got injured, if your heart was broken, if you got into a car accident?
It’s clearly easier to feel pain. I mean pain is right there in your face, there’s no work required to feel pain. If I hit you, you will feel pain. If I give you flowers, you may not necessarily feel happiness. Do you see the difference here? Pain is low hanging fruit when it comes to feeling. It doesn’t take anything, anyone can feel pain. And most of us say that the meaning of life is to be happy, but what we’re actually going after is to feel alive. Aliveness often triumphs happiness. Because aliveness is reminding us why we’re even here on this physical plane.
You know, we’re seeking experiences of aliveness whether it is bungee jumping, or skydiving, or walking out to a cute guy at the bar, or doing something that just doesn’t make you feel so numb. What we are escaping from is numbness, not suffering. We’re escaping from numbness. And I’m saying what most people, not that it has to be this way. What we’re the most afraid of is to just feel mundane, to just feel okay. And human experience doesn’t have to be like this either, but we’re afraid that if we’re just satisfied, then we’re not going to feel anymore.
So we choose the low hanging fruit, which is to experience pain and suffering. Because it allows us to feel alive, so we’re constantly ripping Band-Aids off ourselves. Oop, I’m alive, ooh, I’m alive! And it comes in situations like you got close to a friend that you know you shouldn’t have gotten close with, but you’re having fun, and oh, she stabs you in the back, saw that one coming. Oh, this guy, I mean the red flags are there, but you know, it’s not so bad yet. Oh, he cheated on me, mm, now I’m really upset, shoulda saw that one coming. Oh, I really don’t like this job, but you know, it’s secure. I don’t have a better one, so let me just stick to this, I hate my boss, I hate every day here, I’m fucking miserable. Oh, now I just got fired, and I don’t even have a job? Shit. Saw that one coming. How many of these situations do we get in? That we choose to experience pain, and it’s often a dull pain. It’s often this every day low level anxiety and depression that I believe most people have.
So we’re addicted to this—suffer, suffer, suffer, suffer, suffer—because it just reminds me that I’m a living being. And then when we are given the opportunity to choose contentment, we say that we want to choose it, but we fear that it’s going to make us feel mundane, that life is going to get boring. You know, why do so many people live in New York City? New York City is expensive, it’s not livable, you’re constantly fighting with people to get into taxis and subways, but it makes you feel alive. And it’s worth it for, you know, going to that business meeting and getting the deal, or speaking in front of a big stage, or you know, just the chaos also brings the complexity and aliveness that comes with New York City.
So we, as a generation, are choosing to live our lives this way, but we’re choosing the suffering route when it doesn’t have to be that way. No one is forcing you to live in New York City if you don’t want to. You know, you cold go live an easy life, you could go move up to the mountains, you could move to the beach, there are other options. But we’ve chosen to stick to this one contrived notion of what optimal success looks like, and that looks like choosing suffering over suffering over suffering. Why? Because we’ve told ourselves this story that only through suffering I will grow.
So this is the real reason why so many of us remain on the suffering wheel. We believe that only through suffering we will grow. And I want to say that that’s total bullshit. Yes, you absolutely will grow through suffering because there’s a level of growth that has to happen when you are in so much pain. Doesn’t necessarily happen, but at a certain point, if you are in so much pain, you’re more likely to change your life than when everything’s going kind of smooth.
That’s why people have the breakdown and the breakthrough. When things get very, very hard, that’s often when you flip the switch and you change things. However, what if things get really, really hard and you still don’t do anything? Well that’s when suicide happens. That’s when chronic depression happens. That’s when you don’t take the medicine of suffering, which is why we’re choosing it in the first place, and you’re letting suffering choose you. It’s no longer a learning experience, it’s just keeping you down.
So yes, you can choose in this lifetime I just want to keep exposing myself through situations that I’m going to suffer, and that’s going to be how I grow, how I get more conscious, how I navigate through life or the other option is to choose to learn through ease. Ease, what, life is not supposed to be easy, life is supposed to be a struggle, right? No, it’s not, it doesn’t have to be. Yes, I can keep exposing myselves through difficult situations, and there will be a level of growth.
But what if I choose to love myself enough to not put myself through that. Because choosing suffering is choosing suffering over yourself. And when you truly love yourself, you see that you are exactly where you need to be. You don’t need to prove to yourself that you can get through something to be worthwhile. Yes, I can say, “I’m going to put myself in the middle of this boxing ring even though I have no training because when I’m in this fight, I’m gonna get stronger.” Yes, I’ll get stronger, and I’ll also get beat the fuck up. Do I need to put myself in a boxing ring to grow? What if I chose to dance, or be in a field of flowers, or do something else that makes me feel good? What if I grew actually deeper that way? What if I grew through contentment?
So contentment is different than the happiness, the joy, the bliss that we think of. Because we can’t actually remain at that state all the time either in human form. When we are our most expanded selves, our highest selves, our universal selves—atman, Brahman—universal source consciousness, the furthest out kosha body layer. Yes, we are ananda, anandamaya kosha, we are bliss.
But because we live in this human experience, we can’t actually feel that all the time, it’s too much. If you’ve ever had a psychedelic experience, you I’m sure experienced bliss at some point of it. And then you come back, you’re like, “Why can’t I always feel like that?” Well, because you’re human in this lifetime, and you’re not meant to always feel like that. When you’re a soul, you can always feel like that, but that’s not what this lifetime’s about. However, you can create the pathways to get there, as often as possible. What does that look like? Making contentment your baseline.
Contentment is a level of satisfaction. There’s no longer the struggle, there’s no longer this fight. It’s waking up, and even though you don’t have a birthday that day, you’re still happy. It’s just your norm, you’re happy because you’re fucking here. You don’t need a sweet 16 party to make you excited. We have gotten to such a point of pain that we need such a point of bliss to make contentment our baseline. But if we just choose to be grateful, if we just choose to be so excited that we get to wake up, and start a new day, and the sun has risen, and we are able to use the next 24 hours to create whatever we want in our dreams. We are given this blank canvas every single day, and we can choose the colors to paint it with.
How incredible is that? And if we can choose to look at the things that we maybe considered mundane, maybe it’s the same trees that you, you know, pass everyday on your way to work. Or maybe it’s, you know, your coworker’s funny life, or you know, seeing things with novelty. If we choose to just be content with everything that is happening for us, and we choose to love ourselves—meaning we make the decisions that bring us growth through ease, and joy, and community.
Then suffering no longer is our norm. You know, I can give the example of the polyamorous relationship versus monogamy—again, for some people, they love polyamory, some people they love monogamy, that’s a personal choice. However, why are you choosing it? That’s really the only thing that matters. You can do whatever you want in this lifetime, but it’s about why.
So if you’re saying, “Well, I choose polyamory because the pain that I experienced to see my lover love someone else causes such a deep suffering within me, that when I overcome this suffering, I become more spiritual, and I awaken.” You know, that is a lot of the kind of opinions that are around polyamory, that it is a spiritual growth practice, because through suffering they grow. But what if I chose that I don’t want to experience pain and anguish everyday? I don’t want my relationship, which is to me the thing that is the most supported, giving, rock in my life, to be the thing that gives me the most anxiety, and anger, and frustration.
I’d rather live a life that I don’t have to worry about my partner falling in love with someone else and not loving me, and all of the things that come with that, and choose to just make contentment my baseline and not have my relationship be something that I’m constantly worried about.
So I choose to be happy. I choose the path of ease rather than the path of suffering. And again, this is a personal choice, but ask yourself why you’re making the choices that you did. Are you just setting yourself up for situations that you’re going to suffer because you believe that you need it to grow? Or is that actually the path of contentment? Maybe polyamory, you’re someone that doesn’t get jealous, and you genuinely don’t care if your partner is in love with other people, or having sex with other people, and that’s actually the easier path for you, and that’s the path of more contentment, so go for it.
But if you’re choosing it because you are addicted to suffering, you are addicted to your pain-body, as Eckhart Tolle says. The only way that you can feel alive is through pain, and through jealousy, and through anger, and through frustration. Then I would question why, why not make life easy? Why not eliminate the things that make you stressed and worried? I mean you’re never going to totally get rid of them, but consciously choosing to cut off the things that bring you down.
You know, the path that I’ve been going on in my life is if it makes me suffer, if it makes me stressed out, I don’t want it. I don’t care if it makes me more money, I don’t care if it brings me more popularity. I don’t care, I want a fucking easy life. I want a life where I personally feel happy, and I don’t really care what that means in terms of external success or whatever else. Because there’s nothing more important than how I feel on a day-to-day basis.
And that to me is self-love. Because not being enough would say that I’m only worthy if I can achieve certain things, if I can get myself to go to all these cities, and give all these talks, and write all these books, and only then will I be loved. That’s what the ego wants. But the highest self says, “Girl, you’re already loved. You can do those things when you feel inspired, but don’t do them out of this need to prove yourself for external validation.” Because that is the path of suffering, you’ll never end up happy that way. You’re gonna go from one achieve to the next, to the next, to the next, and then you’re gonna find yourself surrounding my Oscars, or Grammys, or Nobel Peace Prizes, or whatever it is that you want, and you’re still not going to be content.
Because contentment is an inside job, it is a personal decision that you actually have to commit to. Way before you go along this path of chasing your dharma because it’s a very different path to get to your dharma, the path of suffering versus the path of contentment. The path of suffering, yes, you can hustle your way there, you can not sleep, you can overwork, you can do all those things and maybe you’ll get there, but the path of contentment says, “I’m going to let things come to me. I’m going to write when I feel inspired. I’m going to be a conduit for the divine’s message, and she will channel through me, so there’s no need for me to hustle. There’s no need or me to force. Yes, there will be discomforts, yes, there will be unease at times because that is just a given of being on this planet, but I’m not going to seek that out to make me feel worthy.”
So the need for suffering is really just a lack of inner worthiness. You don’t need to suffer to feel alive. You still exist even when the Band-Aid is not being ripped off of you. You, in your cloudlike form, is still fully there. So let’s get off this addiction to poking ourselves, to remind ourselves that we still exist. Let’s trust that in our love, and in our joy, and in our inspiration we are the most alive forms of ourselves. Let’s trust that this path can be easy, it won’t always be, but the moment you make that decision, everything will shift.
Let’s change our relationship with the word “ease,” because if you’re anything like me, at least a couple years ago, I would say, “Easy path? No.” I was like addicted to suffering 100%. When I was in high school I said, “I want to be a human shield. I want to literally be in front of bulldozers when they’re gonna go in front of villages in the Congo, and stand in front of them, and say that, ‘If you don’t stop, you’re gonna have to run me over and I’m gonna give my life for this cause.’”
Because to me I thought that that’s how you help people. I thought helping people meant being a martyr. I thought the way that I could show you that I care is for me to break all my boundaries, to prove to you that I care about you. I thought that for me to help the world means I have to give up my own life. I thought that I would like pretty much be like a nun, like never get married, just give everything back, because those were the examples I saw. How do you help people, Mother Teresa? Okay, I’ll go do that. And it doesn’t have to be that way, we’re in a new paradigm. And often we commemorate the people who have sacrificed themselves to give to others. We applaud them, so selfless, they had such a hard life just so they could give to others, woo-hoo! Once they’re fucking dead. Oh great, I suffered my life in misery so when I died you would write about me in your bullshit textbook, thanks. That was totally worth it.
No, that’s not how I want to live. But then we think the other end of the coin is, “Okay, then for me to live a good life means I must be selfish AF, and I can’t help people, and I become an egotistical maniac,” because, you know, when you go on that path of making yourself happy, you’re just gonna end up someone who’s totally narcissistic. Because that’s what society shows we see these Real Housewives of Beverly Hills and whatever, and that’s what they show of someone who chose themselves, you become a real housewife, someone that chooses others, you become Mother Teresa. Pick your end of the fucking coin.
What do you do? I want to have free-time in my day, I want to hang out at pools, and I want to save the world. So how do I have both? Guess what? It starts with you changing the story. It starts with you changing your inner narrative. Throw out that narrative that school, or your parents, or the movies, or whoever taught you that says that you either have to choose pleasure and joy or pain and suffering. And pain and suffering is going to make you noble, and pleasure and joy is going to make you a bitch.
Drop that bullshit story, because it’s not serving you, it is not true, and there are many people—including myself right now—who are doing both, who are helping people while living a life that they chose and they designed. And that comes with ending your addiction to pain and suffering. That comes with choosing gratitude. That comes with looking at your options and say, “What is the most self-loving choice?”
And sometimes the most self-loving choice is to stay up all night writing because you’re in the creative flow. Sometimes the most self-loving choice is to invest all your money into your business because you really believe in it, even though that means you have less money to go to Whole Foods or do whatever else you want to do. It doesn’t mean it’s always luxury and indulgence. Sometimes the self-loving choice can be more difficult, but it is not the choice of pain.
Do you see the difference here? When you’re experiencing discomfort, it doesn’t mean that you’re choosing it out of pain, it may just be the path that you need to get to contentment. Sometimes the path of pain can look and feel pretty luxurious. Let me add that. You know, when I used to live in India, there were a lot of super wealthy people there who had everything they could ever want. They had literally they called them servants, which always really bothered me, it’s like hello, we’re in the year 2000s, don’t call people servants. But they had all the servants they could ever want, they had massive houses, cars, chauffeurs traveling around the world, everything, but they were still addicted to suffering. They would still end up in situations, relationships, jobs that made them feel like shit repeatedly because that was the only way they could feel alive at that point. If you looked at them, you would say, “Oh my God, your life must be so easy.” But no, they were constantly suffering.
So it’s not just a monetary thing. You know, my alter ego as I call it, is this Jamaican Rasta man. Like I believe that is like my other self, it’s me actually right now in another body, it’s this Jamaican Rasta man, and he’s on the beach, he’s playing his drums, he’s just chilling, he’s just vibing, he’s eating a pineapple, having fun, listening to dance hall music, and he’s not rich. He doesn’t have boats, and jets, and all of these things, but he’s choosing the path of self-love. And for him, that means being by the beach, by music, by community, by love. That’s him honoring himself
So sometimes when I catch myself like saying yes to every opportunity because I need to grow my career, and I need to reach more people, and I need to do these things, I’m like, “What would,” I call him the ganja man, “What would the ganja man do?” The ganja man would be like, “It’s all irie. It’s all good. You gotta find the right people, they’re gonna come to you.” I don’t always listen to the ganja man, if I did I would not be here, I’d be in Jamaica. But you know when I do, like when I went to Fiji, I was definitely listening to the ganja man.
By the way, I don’t smoke marijuana at all, but it’s funny, I just call him the ganja man because I do believe that this alter ego of mine does, it just doesn’t vibe with me in this lifetime. But when I go and I take off, I come back with such deeper inspiration. And then the me, the Sahara Rose in this lifetime can take that information and transmute it into content, and podcasts, and videos, and books, and all of these things.
But it comes when I nourish myself, so being on that path of contentment does not mean you’re gonna give up ambition. Okay, I really want to make that clear. Because I believe a lot of us have this fear, I 150% had it too, that if I choose a path of ease, then I’m not gonna be successful anymore. If everything is just easy, then I’m not gonna do anything, I’m just gonna hang around, I’m gonna literally become the ganja girl, and it does not mean that at all.
I look at Richard Branson as a wonderful example of this. I mean he is the founder of Virgin, Virgin America, Atlantic, et cetera. But he does all of his work out of his hammock, and he bought an island, Necker Island in the Bahamas, and he lives there most of the year. And I know friends who have gone there and say he’s like kite surfing, and swimming, and snorkeling, and like doing all the fun things, and also is a Sir, knighted by the Queen of England, and does all of these incredible things that he’s putting out into the world.
So it doesn’t mean that if you choose self-love you’re going to give up on your ambition. It just means that you’re going to get there in an easier, more effortless way. Again, you can get to the same place with a path of ease or the path of suffering. It’s up to you to choose how you want to get there. You know, I can run down a track, or I can go by it backwards. How am I gonna get there more easily? If I’m running forward, what I’m used to, what feels good, what feels natural, or if I decide I really need to prove myself?
And the ultimate way for me to prove myself that I’m worth it is for me to do this thing backwards. Oh, and I’m also gonna have a dog biting my leg the whole time to make it even more challenging. Oh, and I’m also gonna have malaria the whole time to make it even more challenging. What else can I do to make this experience even more challenging to prove that I was worth it? I’m like, “Yo, I just fucking walked. And I was drinking some coconut water along the way, and I got to the exact same place.” So what do you choose?
Again, that does not mean on my walk there that a dog might bite my leg, or that I might contract malaria, or these things, they may happen to me, but I’m not going out there and choosing them out of this weird illustration in my mind that I’m only worthy if I can do these things and get through them. Now again, this does not mean that we don’t do things that are challenging. Through challenge we still grow. I mean, through a workout when you challenge your muscles, that’s how they develop. However, when you’re over-challenging yourself, what happens? Adrenal fatigue, burnout, two words I’m very familiar with, something I experienced a couple years ago, which radically made me change my life, and made me determine what matters to me.
Adrenal fatigue is basically when you’ve been in a state of stress for so long that your cortisol levels, your stress hormone, has been high for such a long period of time that eventually it actually can’t cope being there anymore so they crash. You no longer produce cortisol in stressful situations. Your body’s like, “I just can’t even come up with anymore because I’ve been so high stress,” and that is actually more dangerous than having high cortisol. Because if you have high cortisol, at least your cortisol is responding, your body is responding to stress. It is changing the chemistry and your brain signals to cope with the stress.
When your body can no longer cope with the stress, you’re no longer producing the cortisol, that is when a whole range of health problems happen. From weight gain, to sluggishness, to inability to sleep, anxiety, depression, all sorts of things. Look up adrenal fatigue to learn more about this.
So most of us, when you’re addicted to suffering, that really quickly turns into adrenal fatigue. That pretty quickly will turn into a burn out. And then we keep trudging, and trudging, and trudging because now if I can run this race with burnout, then I’m even more worth it. No, nourish yourself, ask yourself, “Why am I even running this race to begin with?” You know, you have to have your why. Because if you don’t have your why and you’re just doing it for the sake of doing it, it’s going to very quickly turn into the adrenal fatigue. Because the why is what nourishes you, and fuels you, even when things are hard.
You know, I still have hard times in my business, and this, and that, and there’s all these things that are not blissful and fun, I don’t just record my podcast and like hang out for the rest of the day, I’m doing things. But my why is so strong that it doesn’t feel stressful for me. It really doesn’t because I’m so happy with the work that I’m putting out into this world. Or planning my wedding, everyone’s like, “Oh my God, you must be so stressed out.” I’m like, “Why would I be stressed out? I get to plan this epic party for everyone that I love, and it’s celebrating my love. Like what is stressful about that? No one’s forcing me to do this, I signed up for this shit.”
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So changing your narrative around why you’re doing things without even changing the action change whether you’re on that path of contentment and ease or pain and suffering. Doing the exact same actions, you know? I could say you have to go to the doctor’s office, and you’re like, “I don’t want to go! Oh my God, the doctors, I hate the doctors, they’re gonna give me a shot, oh my God, I’m freaking out.” And the whole ride over you’re having a mild panic attack, you get to the doctor’s office, you’re like looking for the nearest elevator, you’re trying to escape.
That used to be me when I used to go to the doctor because I was so afraid of blood tests and needles. Or you could be like, “Oh my God, I’m going to the doctor.” I mean, first of all, think about how many people whose dream is to go to a doctor? Think about how many people there are in refugee camps who wait in line for days to go to see a doctor. Who put their names into lotteries so that they can go to the doctor. Oh my God, you get to go to a doctor? You have health insurance? They’re gonna pay for you to go to the doctor? You don’t have to wait in a line to go to the doctor? The doctor’s actually gonna have time to talk to you?
Oh my God, what a fucking blessing. I get to go to a doctor. Someone that was trained for four to eight years, who did internships, who dedicated their life to help heal people like me. I get to go to someone so knowledgeable, some one who genuinely wants the best for me, and I get to go, and have my body looked at, ask questions that I’ve been worrying about, and heal myself. What a divine blessing. I know, it may be hard to look at things that way, but that’s actually what is happening. But we’ve chosen the frame of, “Ugh, I don’t have time. Ugh, I hate the doctor’s. Ugh, this is so annoying.” Instead of looking at what a blessing it is.
So again, same action, different interpretation, and honestly, that’s what this life is. The more I see, life is not even what happens to you, it’s just how you interpret it. Because you could look at people with the exact same situations happen, and one of them chooses to thrive off of it, and one of them chooses to make it the fall of their demise. So what are we choosing? And it’s not like something that you were born with, it’s not a path that you had to make before, like this is going to be an easy or hard life. Yes, some lifetimes are harder than others, some people did have a lot more difficult situations and obstacles that they had to go through, but that doesn’t mean it always has to be that way. You could choose making through those obstacles your pathway into the path of ease and grace.
For example, a friend of mine who I’ve had on this podcast twice, Tara Mackey, who’s one of my bridesmaids, she grew up with her mother literally on cocaine when she was born. She was an addicted baby, her mother was on crack, heroine, a lot of very hard drugs. She was eventually had custody taken away, and she was adopted, grew up on food stamps, grew up in the projects, doctors gave her all sorts of medication because they believed that she was going to become bipolar, schizophrenic, so they gave her all of these numbing agents—anti-anxiety, anti-depressants—and then all of these other counteractive medications to help her deal with that. So eventually she just became so numb that she couldn’t feel anything—creativity was lost, everything was lost.
And then when she was about 18, 19 years old she read the autobiography of Yogananda, and she started to learn more about meditation, and consciousness, and with the $200 that she had, she took a car with her friend, and they literally drove to California, where she got odd jobs to pay for herself and dedicated herself to her own healing. And she discovered yoga, and different healing herbs, and all sorts of things, and eventually wrote a book called “Cured by Nature,” and another called “Wild Habits,” and is now dedicated to helping people live a healthier lifestyle.
And now she chooses a life of ease. She creates, she writes books, she has a skincare line, she does all sorts of things, but she also spends time in the sun, and with her dogs, and painting, and walking, and singing, and doing the things that she loves that nourishes her soul. She could have very easily stayed on that survival bandwagon of life is suffering. I mean I have all the evidence around me that life is suffering. I was born addicted to drugs, I’m having withdrawals for something that I never even consciously took. I have crack in my bloodstream without my decision.
Like there is a lot of blame and victimization that she could have chosen. But she chose to see that as the story that she was born with, and the circumstances that was gifted to her for her own awakening. That have given her a deeper sense of purpose, and a deeper why, of why she has chosen to shift her life and choose a path of love.
So there’s no excuse of, “Well, my life has been hard and no one ever taught me to be grateful, and I never had loving parents,” or whatever it is, there’s no excuse because there’s always someone out there that has a more difficult situation than you. There are child soldiers who are literally taken away from their families, made to kill their families, and still escaped from it having murdered dozens of people. Really, there’s a great book about this called “A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier,” by Ishmael Beah, which is a wonderful account. But even after that, I mean literally surrounded by suffering, he’s chosen that that’s not how he wants to live his life. He wants to live in love.
So let’s drop the blame, it’s never gonna get us anywhere, let’s drop the relishing about the past, and being angry about it, or giving ourselves reasonings why. Let’s take accountability for our own addiction to suffering. Again, it is not your fault, it is what society as a mass teaches us, but all it takes is a decision to end it. Look at any situation that you’re in. Am I choosing the path of ease, or am I choosing the path of suffering? Am I dating this person because I’m addicted to the suffering of it? Or does it feel like ease and flow?
One thing that Steven said in our wedding vows was, “I was spending weeks and months trying to write these vows, and words weren’t coming through, and I would write, and erase, and repeat, and I had no idea what to write. And then I thought back on our relationship and how everything has just been so easy. There’s never been a strive of what’s the right thing to say? It’s always just been in flow. And I finally wrote these vows days before the wedding when it just came through at once. And I believed that these are the words that are truest to my heart because they came through ease.”
So ease is not a bad thing. Ease is greatness. Ease is flow. Ease is when you are living in kriya. It is when the universe is propelling you in the right direction because you are in alignment with your dharma, your purpose, the big why. And our dharma is so much more than our career. Your dharma is not just, you know, your job, it is your divine purpose of incarnation. And the universe wants you to get there, we actually need you to get there. Because the world can only come into balance when we are all living in alignment with our dharma.
So when you’re choosing that path of suffering, you’re actually not listening to the universe because that suffering is the universe blocking you. It’s called karma. Karma, most of think it’s just what goes around comes around, it actually has over 16 definitions, but essentially it means bounded action by the universe. So when you’re not living in alignment with your truth, the universe makes things hard, it makes things challenging, it tries to stop you. It says, “No, no, no, don’t go over there. That’s not your path, so I’m going to send you difficult situations, or close the door, shut down the elevator, whatever it is to prevent you from getting there.”
But if we don’t listen, “I need to get in through this window now, and if it closes, I’m gonna find the back door, and this, and that, and da da da, I need to get in there.” That is essentially saying the universe doesn’t have your back. But if you say, “Okay, what is the direction the universe is propelling me in? You know, why is this potential perceived block happening? Where could this actually be re-navigating me towards?”
And when you listen to those signals, because it’s always sending you signals. Oh my God, if we knew how much support, and guidance, and messages we are actually been given on a daily basis, we would be like, “Holy fucking shit, I am so supported, I have no idea why I ever doubted this, I am so freaking guided!” But most of us are like, “Oh my God, why did that happen? Ugh, the elevator shut down and I was supposed to move today, now I have to change things.”
Maybe you weren’t supposed to move that day. Maybe had you moved that day you would have missed out on the opportunity for somewhere else better for you to live. Maybe the reason why that apartment situation didn’t work out is because you are being re-navigated to something better for you. Maybe that relationship needed to blow up in your face because it would have been way worse had you gotten married. You know, we don’t listen to the pain, we don’t listen to the signs, we don’t listen to the suffering because the universe knows it’s the only way that we’re going to listen. So it’s like, “Please, just don’t go over there. How many more roads can I block to get you to not go over there?”
And we think we’re stronger than that, or we’re better than that, and we’ll get through it. If one door closes, another one opens, and it’s the one that I choose! And then what happens? We push, push, push. Maybe we’ll get there, you’ll crack open the door, and you’re like, “Oh shit, nothing good was behind that door. No wonder I was being blocked. Because the prize is not behind door three, I’ve been so fixated on getting on door three I thought my whole life was around door three. And when there was an iron blocking around door three I bulldozed it down because I really believed in door three, and oh my God, it’s a bunch of bubble wrap with no substance, no gift, no prize, nothing there.
When door one was wide open, had a welcome sign, would have been really easy to just walk through, but no, I thought door three. The universe really wanted me to go through door one, but I heard door three, and now look, I pushed so hard, I gave up everything, and I’m stuck with a bunch of bubble wrap, and no substance.”
This is how we live our lives. We think that the suffering is going to get us somewhere. We think that the more that we suffer the more that we’re going to gain. Oh my gosh, if you knew what spirit is telling us. You know, that’s why I love listening to Abraham Hicks, and different channels, and I channel myself. I believe when I’m speaking to you, especially in these solocasts I am channeling, but the universe wants you to be happy, like genuinely. Life was meant to be enjoyed and somewhere it was lost in translation that you have to suffer immensely to experience a glimpse of mere worthiness, which is not the same as joy either.
And it’s amazing how misconstrued it was, because if we just knew how easy it could be, how if we were born knowing and all we have to do is remember who we are, and by us remembering who we are, everything will be illuminated. That’s all that we need to live our optimal human experiences. That’s it. It doesn’t come in going to find your purpose, going to get the guy of your dreams, going to get—it’s nothing external. Everything you want happens when you self-actualize, when you go inwards, when you know your truth. Because when you know your truth, you realize that you are conduit of source, that you are heaven in human form, and that automatically translates to you being worthy.
I mean worthy, there’s not going to be a question in your mind if you actually knew who you were. There would be no doubt. Oh my gosh, do you think like a dog has to do something to be worthy? Like they’re a freaking vessel of light. Just looking at a dog, it’s just you’re like, “Oh my God, you are pure love consciousness. You’re amazing, you don’t even need to talk and you are so fucking worthy of everything you could ever want in your puppy life, or your kitten life, or your monkey life.”
I mean we have this compassion towards animals. We have this compassion towards babies. So why don’t we have this compassion towards ourselves? Why do we set up conditions for ourselves to be worthy? Why do we have to say, “If I suffer this much, and I go through this much heartbreak, and this much suffering, and I get rejected this many times, then I will be worthy of love.” Would you ever tell your dog to do that? “If you jumped through 100 hoops, then you’ll be worthy, then you’ll get the treat that you want. But if not, forget it, you’re going to the pound.”
Like would you ever do that to a baby? “Oh my God, I know you were just born, but hello, time is money and you’re wasting a lot of time, so where’s the money? Come on, be a productive member of society, bring back that diaper money.” Would you ever say that to a baby? But we say this to ourselves. And now from a younger and younger age, that essentially we are telling children that only if you do violin practice, and get a million on your SAT scores, then you’ll be worthy.”
We’re putting this poison that we’ve put on ourselves onto our children, causing them to grow up with this lack of worth, which turns into this desire to feel, which turns into this need to suffer because to suffer is to feel, and to feel is to be worthy. So what if we backtracked it all? And we can do this consciously, we can do this with our own decision, but the most powerful is to not even create those wounds to begin with. And this is why conscious parenting is so important because imagine if a child was not even told in the first place that they had to jump through the loops to be worthy members of society.
Imagine if we didn’t even have to waste this time on reprogramming, and repatterning because we just already knew. That is happening more and more, especially with this generation, as adults are getting more conscious, and actualize, they’re not putting on the same pressures that they had on themselves on their children, but we’re still a long way from totally being there, let me just say that.
So what if we never created those traumas, and those wounds, and those scars to begin with? What if the child was born and the child was like, “Oh my God, I dream about being, you know, an astronaut.” We were like, “Wow, that’s amazing. You know, tell me about why you want to go to the stars, and let’s dive into more about this,” and you’re constantly fueling in their minds that you will absolutely become this astronaut. It is happening for you, I’m so excited to see what you create, and here’s some books about it, let’s talk about this further, let’s make this the focus of your attention because it is your life’s goal.
And maybe that kid doesn’t want to be an astronaut, maybe they’ll read all about the stars and be like, “This isn’t for me.” But to show them that their desires were worthy, to show them that if they want something, the universe can open up the path for them to get it, will show them that anything that they want in this lifetime can and will be supported. It doesn’t mean, “Oh, you want to be an astronaut, good luck, go do arithmetic. Go study for your spelling bee. An astronaut class does not exist in elementary school. You’re gonna have to wait until you’re in your Ph.D. to even think about that.”
What is that saying? The things that you truly want to do are not going to be given access to you because you’re not worthy until you reach a certain age. And by the way, we’re going to do so much programming to you by then that you’re not even going to want it. We’re going to tell you a million different ways that it is impossible for you to be an astronaut so by the time that you can get Ph.D., your self-worth is at such a low level that you’ll never even actually go for it. That’s the fucking baseline truth of what we’re saying.
And I’m sorry, I know it sounds harsh, but how many of you can relate? How many of you have been told that your dreams are impossible? That you have to get through this amount of curriculum, and books, and school, things that have no interest to you, but you must suffer to this level to be worthy enough to one day make your own decisions. It’s bullshit.
I mean, I went to public school my whole life, I did not go to a hippy dippy school. I wish I did, but it really caused damage, damage that I was able to reverse as much as possible, and will still over this entire lifetime be reversing the damage of school. But I think that that’s really where our addiction to suffering was really just like ingrained. Because school is where we spent most of our waking hours. You know, you wake up, you go to school, you’re there for like eight hours, you come home, you’re doing homework, like your life revolves around the schooling. And the school, it’s not that any teacher had the intention, but it’s the whole system of these are the things you need to do, and if you ask why, we’re going to send you to the principal’s office. So you better just sit, and be quiet, and say yes. And if you say yes enough to what we want for you, not what you want for yourself, you get a gold star.
Gold stars don’t really mean anything. Letter A, B, C, it actually doesn’t mean anything, but we’re going to tell you it means everything. We’re going to make you jump through the loops to get the A, so you can go tell your parents that you’re worthy, even though they should already be telling you that you’re worthy, but we’ve put this in their system and their minds, too. So essentially by the time that you’re able to go to college, they’re gonna give you a whole other curriculum, and you’re gonna be so manipulated by this entire system that any job that we give you you’re just gonna say yes to, and that’s what we want as corporate America.
So don’t choose the path of actualization because it’s gonna get you in trouble, choose the path of saying yes, which is yeah, the path of suffering because it is going to help our society improve by having you in a corporate position that you hate. That’s actually what is happening if you look, this could be a whole other episode, the history of school and how our school system was created around the industrial revolution, and we needed people in the workforce to sit, and to obey, and to listen, and to fear the boss. And we created our school system, there’s one teacher to 30 students, and you better be fucking afraid of this teacher, or else you’re gonna get in trouble, and you’re not going to be able to play outside in recess, or go home after school, or other human rights that you are actually and [inaudible][53:00] born to, we’re going to take those away from you because I don’t know, we can, someone gave us this power, your parents did, because they actually have to go do their own jobs so they didn’t have time to homeschool you. So they created this system so we can sit, and obey, and get used to this baseline norm of suffering.
So again, this isn’t blaming, “Oh my God, mom and dad, why did you send me to public school? Why did you send me to Catholic school? Why did you not send me to Waldorf or whatever?” It’s not about that, I didn’t go to those schools either. But it’s about being aware that, yes, this imprinting happened. Oh, this is probably the reason why I would rather stick it out in the mundane job that I hate because I’ve been primed my entire life to stick it out, to get the raise, to get the grades, to get whatever external accolades they’re dangling in front of our faces like a piece of raw meat. I actually don’t even want it. I actually have no desire for whatever it is. And there are ways that I could get so much more than that and not have to deal with the suffering.
So all of this is interconnected. You know, I need to talk about the bigger picture of our school system, and all of these things, because it is a shared experience that we’ve all gone through, and if we just try to stay all rosey dosey, and everything’s great, and everything you know, is supporting us, no, there are things that we’ve had to go through that weren’t supporting us, but they give us the context to show us what we don’t want. And sometimes the only way to see what we do want is to first experience what we don’t want. So if you’re addicted to suffering, if your mundane norm is pain, then make that decision. Say, “I don’t want to feel pain to feel alive. I want to choose a path of ease. I want things to flow to me and I want to flow to them. I want to go in the direction that the universe is propelling me in. I don’t want what is going to lead to false success, egotistical accolades. I want truth, I want purpose, I want actualization, I want laughter, I want inner peace. So I’m choosing love, I’m choosing gratitude, I’m choosing to drop victimhood, I’m choosing the path of ease and grace.”
And then look at every decision you’re making in your life. Where is leading me to? Is it bringing me towards more love, and joy, and unity? Or is it just seeing myself up for more suffering? And if you take a look, honestly at your life I swear if you do this practice and you honestly look at things in your life, a lot of things may fall apart. Relationships may fall apart, living situations may fall apart, jobs may fall apart. And in that falling apart it will not be easy.
Because when you’re changing the norm of anything, you’re going to one: come across all the people who have never questioned the norms and think you’re crazy for doing it. Let me just tell you that, that’s gonna happen. And that actually stops most people. What stops most people are other people telling us to stop. We don’t even try it, we don’t even take the risk—I don’t even believe it’s a risk, I don’t believe there’s any such things as failures, just you giving up. But most of us, we don’t even give ourselves that opportunity because other people tell us not to. Other people say, “Life is suffering.”
I remember when I said I want to be a writer and a spiritual teacher, my mom was like, “What are you looking for? I mean life is meant to be suffering, you’re supposed to have a job that you don’t like, and no one loves their job, like that’s normal, like what are you looking for? Like you just have to get used to this, you just have to be okay with it.” And I refuse to buy that story. I refuse to be one of the many who hate their lives.
I knew that follow your dreams couldn’t be bullshit. I knew that all the spiritual stuff couldn’t be all fake. I didn’t have evidence, I didn’t know anyone that was doing what they loved. I didn’t know anyone that was following their dharma or even knew what the word dharma meant. I didn’t even know what the word dharma meant, but something deeper in me knew that this life was not given to me to say yes to a bunch of things that I hate, to go to sleep with a person that I despise, and that person being myself.
There’s no way I cam to this earth to live that kind of life. And I don’t know what the future has in hold for me, but I do know if I listen to my own truth over other people’s ideas of what my truth is, that I will most definitely end up closer to what I’m looking for than what they’re telling me to do. So you don’t have to totally believe it, but the part of you, the small part of you that does, start to listen to that.
I hope that you enjoyed this episode. Dharma is a topic that is so deeply important to me. It is a topic I will be writing my next book about. This is my first ever announcement on that, if you’re listening to the end of this episode, then you fucking deserve to hear it. But I’ll be writing my next book that I’m actually writing the book right now, and if you have an amazing story about following your dharma, your divine purpose—whether it was you leaving a corporate job that you hated, or you accidentally stumbling upon it, or you risking everything for it, whatever it is, I would love to hear it. So send me an email at sahara, S-A-H-A-R-A, @eatfeelfresh.com, subject “dharma story,” and let me know your dharma story, I would love to interview you guys and feature you in the book.
I hope you enjoyed this episode. If you loved it, I would love if you could leave me a review in the iTunes store. And as a free gift, I will share with you the first half of my unreleased book, “Eat Right For Your Mind Body Type.” Simply email a screenshot of your review over to firstname.lastname@example.org. Again, sahara, S-A-H-A-RA, @eatfeelfresh.com, and I will send you over the first half of my unreleased book, “Eat Right For Your Mind Body Type.” Thank you and Namaste.
Episode 206 – How To End Your Addiction to Suffering with Sahara Rose