Episode 22: When Other People Suffer

Episode Summary

When the people in our lives are suffering, we want to fix things.  We want to control their experiences, change their circumstances, and help them find different thoughts and feelings so they can feel better.

However, this is only because we suffer when we see others suffer.  In many ways we want them to feel better so that we can feel better.

As humans, we think we know what is best for others.  We think if we can change the way they are thinking and feeling, they can have less suffering.  And this will be better for them.

But while this may feel compassionate, it isn't.  And it doesn't allow us to access the power of divine love.

In this episode of the podcast, we talk about what to do when others are suffering and how to find compassion and peace and love without wanting to get in and change other people’s models or circumstances—even when they include pain and suffering.

These ideas can transform the way we love and the way we show up around the other people in our lives when they are hurting or suffering and can increase the richness of our own human experience...and that my friends, is 100% awesome.  


Episode Tools and Questions

As you see the suffering of others, one tool that can be useful to is to consider whether what you are feeling is clean pain or dirty pain.

Clean pain is when we feel negative emotion without needing it to be different. It is just recognizing that pain and suffering is part of the 50/50 human experience.  When we feel clean pain, it can be processed and it is cleansing and healing.   

Dirty pain is additional pain that we cause ourselves when we think there shouldn’t be negative emotion at all. Dirty pain is the anger, frustration, resentment, and judgment we feel when we or others experience the normal 50% negative human emotion.   It is resistance to negative emotion and an unwillingness to accept the pain of earth life.  Dirty pain festers and compounds our suffering rather than creating relief or healing.

Here are some questions to ask yourself or thoughts to consider when others around you are hurting:

  • What if this is the exact experience they are supposed to be having?
  • My job is never to change their suffering.  My job is to mourn and weep with them and let that be enough
  • What if this part is necessary?


Episode Notes

Mentioned in the podcast:

  • The Great British Baking Show
  • Quote by Stephen E. Robinson:  "All the negative aspects of human existence brought about by the fall, Jesus Christ absorbed into himself. God uses no magic wand to simply wave bad things into non-existence.  The sins he remits he remits by making them his own and suffering them. The pain and heartaches that he relieves, he relieves by suffering them himself. These things can be shared and absorbed but they cannot be simply wished or waved away. They must be suffered." 
  • The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints General Conference



I have created a free workbook for my listeners who will be participating in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints General Conference this weekend.  

Don't let overwhelm, worry, or shame keep you from applying the things you learn and feel during this conference!  Click the link below to download your workbook.



Episode Transcript

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