During my work as a hospice physician, I had a great opportunity to study how people respond to times of suffering and adversity in their lives. What I learned by watching and listening to patients who were facing their death was that a spiritual focus on life is the most important factor for getting through the fires of suffering and creating something beautiful.

Those patients all had to accept that their lives were coming to an end soon and during that process each of them mastered certain spiritual lessons that are important clues to how we should be dealing with our own suffering. As a devoted student of those dying patients, I learned seven life lessons that I have been able to incorporate into my own life and that have helped me find my way through my struggles:

  1. Suffering: embrace your difficulties rather than resist them. This lesson is the key to learning the most effective attitude towards challenging times. Those who resist their suffering tend to experience more pain and more complications, while those who accept that suffering is just a part of life, quickly move on to focus on other issues. Use your time to make the best of each situation rather than complaining about the things you don’t like.
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    This was first published in the March 2014 issue of Complete Wellbeing.

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