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  • Writer's pictureIlin Shieh

A Christmas realization on suffering, near Christmas

Holiday break. Just binging on my favorite British whodunnits, when a scene from Grantchester (PBS Masterpiece Mystery) surprisingly struck a chord deep inside. [spoiler alert, Season 7, Episode 3] It is of Mrs. Chapman talking to God about her cancer diagnosis:

[Mrs. Chapman storms into her church, alone, and starts shouting at God in front of the alter as light shines on her face]

Mrs. C [to God]:

I pray every day.

I abide by your every bloody rule. So where are you? Why won’t you answer me?

I’ve done everything and you take everything way.

I wanted a child, you took that away.

I want to live. I wanted to be happy and you’re taking that too.

You know what? You turn your back on me, I’ll turn my back on you, you bastard!

[Mrs. C storms out of the church]

Tessa Peake-Jones’ performance was riveting and heartbreaking (thank you writers), and I was right there with her returning her sentiments. My own personal content may be different, but I have also shouted very similar things to God.

During my travels to Europe, I’ve visited many churches, some tourist attractions and some not, and I’ve gotten familiar with the vibrations of Jesus. So as my emotions riled with Mrs. C’s soliloquy, the vibration of Jesus also arose and I remember that his father, God, nailed him on a cross and left him bleeding to his death.

It reminded me that many times in our lives, it would seem that it is our loved ones who nailed us on the cross to die, and we end up feeling confused and hurt how someone who we entrusted our love could turn out to hurt us the most?

And yet Jesus wasn’t even resentful and remained loving. If Jesus had been farther from the vibrations of love and compassion, I imagine his self talk would’ve sounded similar to Mrs. C’s: I’ve been good. I’ve been nothing but kind to the world and obliging. So why me - with all the sufferings? And why not me - of all the good things I was denied from having?

I don’t pretend to have “The” answer. What has been my belief and a sense of direct knowing is that whatever experiences we go through in life, we set up the stage for evolution and transformation of consciousness. Over and over again into eons. It is all life’s play, and even in pain and suffering, the choice to take it lightly and access acceptance, if not complete transmutation, is still there. And the ability to see ourselves as spirit explorers in expanding consciousness is still there.

Either we believe this world to be a projected universe or not, it certainly is helpful to remember that Jesus was nailed on the cross by many of his loved ones, including God. And it’s almost as if he graced the experience with acceptance and surrender. Even when we feel wronged, betrayed, alienated, and abandoned, love remains possible with all of the above, as clearly demonstrated by Jesus. Perhaps we’ve evolved beyond the love of the Piscean age that carries themes of martyrdom and blind sacrifice. But the love with one eye on the potential of humanities and one eye on the expansion of consciousness is now more easily accessible than ever in the Aquarian age.

One last note about pain and suffering. By now we know the body keeps score, psychological trauma manifesting as physical symptoms, PTSD, and all that. So I am not in any way suggesting to be a martyr and grin-and-bear the suffering. Self-compassion these days go beyond licking our own wounds and into wise and fierce action. What I am saying is that Jesus is a great reminder that even God’s son was given (many and really really sour) lemons, and in our times we get to go further and experiment with healing in new ways. Approach sufferings from curiosity, and become the witness. That in turn brings our awareness to a greater consciousness, and we’re better able to see life as a co-creative experience that bears meaning and purpose. That’s all.

Happy New Year 2024!!



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