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Let That Sh*t Go: Shamanic Wisdom on Non-Suffering

Introduction

Welcome to our deep dive into the world of Non-Suffering, brought to you by the South Direction in shamanic practice. Today, we’re blending ancient wisdom with a touch of humor and we'll mix in some Christian, Islamic, and Jewish perspectives like the educated queens that we are. Let's get enlightened, ladies!


Why this eclectic mix of wisdom, you ask? Well, Farah was raised in an Arab non-practicing Muslim family. As she delved into the shamanic directions, she couldn't help but wonder if there were insights in the Quran that could complement what shamanism offered. Meanwhile, I grew up ELCA Lutheran, with a firm belief that the Bible is a Unified Story That Leads to Jesus. My shamanic path is deeply influenced by the Torah and Jesus' teachings, adding another rich layer to our exploration.


The more I work with clients, the more I find that most, if not all, come from families that immigrated to North America in the last few generations or carry with them an ethnic heritage rich in spiritual traditions, passed down despite assimilation. For me, it was my Italian ancestors. Even though I'm fourth generation, the superstitions about the evil eye, or mal'occhio, were passed down. Many of my Latina clients are familiar with the mal de ojo, which is essentially the same concept.


These beliefs are part of a larger family of similar spiritual traditions and folk magic that many of us younger North American generations have written off as "crazy stuff old people said." But it isn’t. These traditions hold deep wisdom and are incredibly relevant to our journey of understanding and embracing Non-Suffering.


We talk about this intersection of modern spirituality and major religions in my ceremonies, group work, and 1:1 sessions. So, I thought, let's do a relatable, educational deep dive on how modern spirituality and major religions can and do intersect. Buckle up for some enlightening insights and practical advice!


Shamanic Perspective: The South Direction

The South Direction is a powerful realm of transformation and integration, guiding us through the processes of healing, letting go, and living mindfully. It emphasizes four main principles: Non-Suffering, Non-Attachment, Non-Judgment, and Walking in Beauty. By embracing these principles, we can release emotional pain, detach from material and emotional dependencies, cultivate compassion, and live with greater awareness and kindness. The South encourages us to actively engage in practices that bring joy, foster gratitude, and promote empathy, ultimately leading to a more balanced and harmonious life. Through mindful actions and reflective exercises, we integrate these teachings into our daily lives, creating a foundation for profound personal growth and spiritual development.


Non-Suffering

Alright, girlfriend, let's chat about Non-Suffering. Think of it as your personal mission to embrace healing and let go of pain. It’s recognizing that suffering is totally optional. I mean, life’s too short to be dragging around emotional baggage like it’s a designer purse. You have the power to release it through a little mindfulness and a lot of self-compassion.


pain is inevitable. suffering is optional. hot girl healing

First things first, engaging in activities that bring joy and alleviate emotional pain is a game-changer. Imagine this: instead of rotting away in your bed when you feel like crap, you throw on your cutest workout gear and head outside for a hot girl walk. Seriously, nature is magic. The fresh air, the sunshine, and the simple act of moving can do wonders for your mood. It’s like giving your mind and body a mini vacation.


Now, let’s talk about some real talk actionable change. Ever notice how some people, jobs, or romantic partners just suck the life out of you? Yeah, it might be time to Marie Kondo your relationships. If they don’t spark joy, let them go. Dumping that toxic friend, quitting that soul-sucking job, or ending that draining relationship might be exactly what you need to start healing. Surround yourself with people who lift you up, not those who drag you down.


Meditation is another fantastic way to promote healing and joy. Find a quiet spot, close your eyes, and just breathe. Let those thoughts come and go without judgment. It’s like a mental detox. And creative expression? Girl, grab some paints, a journal, or whatever your creative outlet is, and let it all out. It doesn’t have to be perfect; it just has to be you. Creating something can be incredibly therapeutic.


Finally, remember that connecting with nature isn’t just for hippies. Go hug a tree (seriously, try it), plant some flowers, or simply sit in a park and watch the world go by. Nature has this incredible way of grounding us and reminding us of the bigger picture.


Non-Suffering is all about actively choosing to release what’s weighing you down and embracing what lifts you up. It’s about swapping out those pity parties for moments of joy and peace. So, next time you’re feeling like crap, don’t rot away in your bed. Get up, get out, and do something that makes your soul happy. You’ve got this, queen!


Muslim Perspective on Non-Suffering


First off, let’s admit I (Ang) have never studied the Quran, so bear with me and correct me if I got it wrong. This is me researching in preparation for me and my Arab friend Farah to discuss on this week's podcast episode, so don’t come at me, bro.


Islamic teachings view suffering as a test from Allah—like a pop quiz from the universe. The Quran says, “Verily, with hardship comes ease” (Quran 94:6). So, every rough patch is followed by something better, kind of like finding a twenty in your old coat pocket. Practicing Sabr (patience) and Tawakkul (trust in Allah) helps Muslims navigate these trials, believing they serve a higher purpose. It’s like having faith that there’s a cosmic plan behind all those bumps in the road, and knowing that you’re being shaped into a stronger, more resilient version of yourself.


Now, let's talk about how views on suffering can differ among Muslims:


Traditional Views

In more traditional Muslim communities, suffering is often seen as a direct test from Allah. The belief is that enduring hardship with patience and trust in Allah will bring spiritual rewards, both in this life and the hereafter. This perspective is deeply rooted in classical Islamic teachings and is prevalent in many conservative societies. It emphasizes submission to Allah's will and finding solace in the divine wisdom behind every challenge.


Modern Views

Modern interpretations can vary widely, especially among Muslims living in more secular or Western societies. Here, the focus might shift towards a more psychological understanding of suffering, integrating contemporary concepts of mental health with traditional beliefs. While patience and trust in Allah remain important, there is also a greater emphasis on seeking practical solutions to alleviate suffering, such as therapy, community support, and self-care practices. This blend of spiritual and modern approaches can offer a more holistic way to cope with life's challenges.


Cultural Contexts

Cultural differences also play a significant role in how Muslims experience and interpret suffering. For example:

  • Middle Eastern Muslims: In regions with strong traditional roots, the collective approach to suffering is often emphasized. Community support and family bonds are crucial in helping individuals endure hardships.

  • South Asian Muslims: Here, cultural practices often intertwine with religious beliefs. Suffering is frequently addressed through both spiritual practices and traditional remedies, reflecting a rich tapestry of cultural and religious influences.

  • Western Muslims: Muslims in Western countries might navigate a complex landscape of maintaining their faith while integrating into a secular society. They often blend traditional teachings with modern self-help strategies, creating a unique fusion of resilience.


Jewish Perspective on Non-Suffering

First, a quick primer for those who might need it: The Torah is the central reference of the religious Judaic tradition and is considered the written law. It comprises the first five books of the Hebrew Bible (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy), which are also found in the Old Testament of the Christian Bible. The Torah is incredibly important to Judaism, serving as the foundation of Jewish law, ethics, and spiritual teachings.


When it comes to Non-Suffering, the Torah has some deep insights to share. The story of Job is a profound exploration of human suffering and divine justice. Despite his immense suffering, Job maintains his faith and integrity, ultimately finding solace in his unwavering relationship with God. This story underscores the belief that while suffering is a part of life, it can lead to spiritual growth and a deeper understanding of divine purpose.


The Torah also emphasizes the importance of community support and acts of loving-kindness (Chesed) in alleviating suffering. The Jewish tradition teaches that we are all responsible for each other, and through acts of compassion and support, we can help each other endure and overcome hardships. This communal approach to suffering is a powerful reminder of the strength found in unity and empathy.


Jewish teachings often highlight the concept of Tikkun Olam, which means "repairing the world." This idea encourages individuals to take action in alleviating the suffering of others, seeing it as a collective responsibility to make the world a better place. By engaging in acts of kindness, charity, and social justice, Jews are encouraged to transform suffering into opportunities for positive change.


Christian Perspective on Non-Suffering


When it comes to understanding suffering, Jesus’ teachings offer profound insights. In the Beatitudes, Jesus says, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted” (Matthew 5:4). This statement highlights the promise of divine comfort and healing for those who endure suffering. Jesus acknowledges that suffering is a part of the human experience but assures us that it is not without purpose and that comfort will follow.


One of the most significant examples of suffering in the New Testament is Jesus' own life, particularly His crucifixion. Jesus endured immense physical and emotional pain, yet His suffering led to the ultimate act of redemption for humanity. This narrative underscores the transformative power of suffering—how enduring trials can lead to profound spiritual growth and the betterment of others.


Jesus also taught about the importance of compassion and helping those who suffer. The Parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37) is a perfect example. In this story, Jesus illustrates the importance of caring for others, regardless of their background or circumstances. The Good Samaritan’s actions teach us that alleviating the suffering of others is a fundamental aspect of living a life of compassion and love.


Another key teaching is found in John 16:33, where Jesus says, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” Here, Jesus acknowledges the inevitability of suffering but encourages us to remain hopeful, knowing that He has triumphed over all hardships.


Reconciling the Entirety of the Bible with Jesus' Teachings


As Christians, we often grapple with reconciling the entirety of the Bible with Jesus' specific teachings. The Old Testament contains many stories and laws that reflect the historical and cultural contexts of ancient Israel, which can sometimes seem at odds with the message of love and compassion central to Jesus' teachings in the New Testament.


For many of us, focusing on the most accurate translations of Jesus' teachings is key to understanding and practicing our faith. Jesus' messages of love, forgiveness, and compassion provide a lens through which we can interpret the rest of the Bible. By meditating on His teachings, we aim to align our lives more closely with His example, striving to live out His principles in our daily actions.


Different denominations within Christianity reconcile these aspects in various ways. Some emphasize the continuity of the entire biblical narrative, seeing Jesus as the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy. Others, like myself, tend to focus more on the direct teachings of Jesus, using them as a guide for interpreting the broader biblical context.


Comparing Perspectives: Islam, Judaism, Christianity, and Shamanism on Non-Suffering

When we look at how Islam, Judaism, Christianity, and Shamanism approach Non-Suffering, we find some interesting common ground and unique differences.


Common Ground:

  1. Healing and Renewal:

  • Shamanism: Focuses on healing and renewal through rituals, connection with nature, and spiritual practices.

  • Christianity: Emphasizes comfort and healing through Jesus’ teachings and the promise of divine comfort.

  • Judaism: Highlights spiritual growth and community support to endure and overcome suffering.

  • Islam: Views suffering as a test from Allah, with the promise of ease and spiritual rewards through patience and trust.

  1. Compassion and Community Support:

  • Shamanism: Values communal healing rituals and support networks.

  • Christianity: Encourages helping those who suffer, as illustrated by the Parable of the Good Samaritan.

  • Judaism: Stresses the importance of community support and acts of loving-kindness (Chesed).

  • Islam: Promotes charity (Zakat) and supporting each other, especially in times of hardship.

  1. Transformative Power of Suffering:

  • Shamanism: Believes in turning wounds into sources of strength and growth.

  • Christianity: Jesus’ crucifixion exemplifies how suffering can lead to redemption and spiritual transformation.

  • Judaism: The story of Job demonstrates how enduring suffering can deepen one’s faith and understanding of divine purpose.

  • Islam: Emphasizes that enduring hardship with patience leads to spiritual growth and eventual ease.

Differences:

  1. Divine Plan:

  • Shamanism: Focuses on personal and communal connection with nature and the spirit world, often without a singular deity's direct plan.

  • Christianity: Frames suffering within the context of a divine plan and redemption through Jesus.

  • Judaism: Often sees suffering as part of a divine plan, emphasizing a personal relationship with God.

  • Islam: Views suffering as a test from Allah, part of a divine plan to strengthen faith and character.

  1. Practical vs. Spiritual Solutions:

  • Shamanism: Emphasizes ritualistic and nature-based healing methods.

  • Christianity: Combines spiritual comfort with practical actions of love and compassion.

  • Judaism: Integrates practical actions like acts of kindness and charity with spiritual growth.

  • Islam: Blends spiritual practices like patience and trust in Allah with practical solutions like charity and community support.


By exploring these diverse spiritual teachings, we can see that while there are unique elements to each tradition, there are also universal themes. Each path offers valuable insights into how we can approach and transform suffering, emphasizing healing, compassion, and community support. Embracing these teachings can lead us to a more balanced, compassionate, and harmonious life.


Practical Applications: Non-Suffering for Modern Girls


Alright, ladies, let's get real about how you can embody Non-Suffering in your everyday life. Here are some fun, practical ways to turn those frowns upside down:


Journaling: Grab that cute notebook you bought on a whim and put it to good use. Write about your past pains like you're spilling the tea to your bestie. Reflect on how these experiences have shaped you and brainstorm ways to let go of any lingering hurt. Trust me, it's like therapy, but cheaper.


Meditation and Prayer: Find a quiet spot, light a candle (or three), and get your zen on. Spend some time meditating or praying, focusing on letting go of burdens and inviting peace. Picture yourself floating on a cloud of calmness. It’s like a mental spa day, minus the cucumber slices.


Acts of Compassion: Show kindness to others, even if it's just a simple smile or holding the door open. Use your own experiences of suffering to empathize and support those in need. Think of it as spreading good vibes and collecting karma points. Plus, it feels amazing to be a ray of sunshine in someone else's cloudy day.


Community Support: Lean on your squad when you're feeling down and offer your support in return. Whether it's a heart-to-heart over coffee or a group text vent session, remember we’re stronger together. Share the love, the laughs, and the occasional cry. It’s all part of the healing journey.


By incorporating these practices, you'll be on your way to living a life that’s more balanced, compassionate, and full of joy. So, go ahead and let that sh*t go, one mindful action at a time!


Final Thoughts: Finding My Way Through Non-Suffering


Alright, let's get personal for a sec. I’ll be honest—I sometimes struggle with the whole “divine plan” concept. I mean, think about the Old Testament story where God made His people wander in the desert for 40 years. That was a serious test of faith, with a lot of suffering involved. People spent their entire lives hoping for a better afterlife, and it kind of feels like all three major religions—Islam, Christianity, and Judaism—have elements of this narrative.


But here's where I get a bit conflicted. I’m not sure if I believe in a pre-determined divine plan. I love how shamanism shows us that we can enjoy our human lives right here, right now. It’s all about transforming our pain into strength and wisdom and finding joy in our everyday experiences.


Non-Suffering isn’t about ignoring our pain; it’s about using it to grow stronger and wiser. By blending shamanic principles with insights from Islam, Christianity, and Judaism, we can navigate our trials with resilience and grace. It's like creating a spiritual smoothie—mixing the best ingredients from different traditions to nourish our souls.


Join the Conversation


Now it’s your turn. How have you experienced and overcome suffering in your own life? Do you believe in a divine plan, or do you take it day by day like me? Share your insights and experiences in the comments below. Let’s support each other on this journey of healing and renewal. We’re in this together, and I can’t wait to hear your stories!


Stay Tuned


Want to hear more thoughts on this topic? Make sure you subscribe to my podcast to hear Farah and I discuss it later this week. Hot Girl Healing Podcast

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