They say we choose our lives before we get here. They also say we choose our parents, family members and friends. Yet those born into unfortunate circumstances may choose to believe otherwise, after all why would we choose a difficult life of constant struggle and suffering if we could choose an easy life filled with happiness and abundance? I've asked myself this question on quite a few occasions...that is until my transformation started to take place and the answers became apparently clear. However in order to understand this transformation and why I believe suffering can lead to greatness, and perhaps even enlightenment, I would need to start from the very beginning.
I was born and raised in Queens, NY. The household I grew up in was a challenging one to say the very least. A sensitive pisces and an empath, there was a lot of negative energy being directed at me and in turn I became highly unbalanced and sick. At the tender age of 4 my parents separated and my dad moved out. Soon after this incident I had my first asthma attack. I was rushed to the hospital and when I came back home I realized something horrific. My cat "Goofy" was missing! After several attempts to feed my missing cat "Goofy" and find out what really happened, my mom finally admits to me that my cat “Goofy” went to cat heaven. Yes, my cat was actually euthanized because of my asthma attack! This was my first experience with death. Talk about early childhood trauma! First my dad leaves, than my cats dies.
I was being pumped with allergy shots weekly and of course the usual seasonal flu shots. I was hospitalized in kindergarten for a whole week. I had an unusually bad case of the chicken pox. After this episode I started developing right shoulder blade pain which eventually, over many years, turned into constant neck and back pain. I also suffered from constant headaches which still exist today. I had a difficult time waking up in the morning and was exhausted upon returning home from school. I suffered from physical pain, exhaustion and depression. Yes! It turns out that depression runs in my family...and pretty severe at that! I was also harboring a great deal of anger. I was irritable. I had moments of panic, anxiety, abnormal highs and lows. I was eating bad foods... Lot's of fast foods and foods full of sugar! I'm pretty sure this didn't help my mood and energy levels at all!
Fast forward to college where I really hit rock bottom. I continued to eat terrible, drank starbucks everyday, alcohol, marijuana, cigarettes, ecstasy pills, a little cocaine here and there... I ended up in the hospital with stomach problems and was told I had to quit everything! I caught a bad virus. My immune system was compromised. I was on 3 different pharmaceuticals. I felt sick and miserable all the time. This had to end!
One day amidst all the suffering I had an epiphany. I had a strong realization that a higher power existed and that it was there to help and guide me. In fact this higher power existed within me. I also decided that it was time to let go of all the fears that had been holding me back and that I would pursue my passion to be an entertainer and help make the world a better place. This one particular epiphany led to many spectacularly positive changes in my life and even more epiphanies. For instance, all of a sudden I had an epiphany that the pharmaceuticals I was taking were no good. I quit them all cold turkey at the same time. I started drinking fruit shakes with spirulina in an attempt to heal myself. Then I started making an effort to quit coffee and cigarettes. I drank soda to get off the coffee, green tea to get off the soda and than finally just lot's of water! I had to deal with quite a bit of migraines though but I was already used to that! The cigarettes, well let's just say my stomach problems were so bad that I was forced to quit because I couldn't take the pain anymore. Every time I took a puff my stomach felt like it was on fire. This is a prime example of how pain and suffering can be very beneficial and help contribute to positive change! In the end, although it took a great deal of effort and even more suffering, I ended up quitting everything that was hurting me.
Fast forward again a few years and I graduate college with honors. I receive a BBA in Advertising and Marketing. Through all the suffering I still managed to do well in school and graduate! I move out to Los Angeles, CA where I meet a great man who becomes my best friend and spiritual mentor. He teaches me to change my diet, meditate, cleanse my chakras and become a better being (the spiritual being that always existed within me). All these positive changes affected me drastically. I became inspired. I started studying natural cures for mood disorder, viral infections, hormone imbalance and so forth. I started meeting and helping others who suffered from the same ailments that I've suffered from for years. I was guided to become a Reiki Energy Healer. Then I was guided to create Self Saviorz Society non-profit to help the homeless, children and animals. Finally I was guided to write a spiritual self help poetry book: “A Lover in the Land of Hell.” This book seemed to come out of nowhere, as if channeled from an entirely different dimension, yet through the culmination of all my suffering and healing this book was born.
All of a sudden it all made sense! This suffering I've endured is not a curse. In fact it is a blessing! The suffering has led me to become the person I am today. I am grateful for all my challenges. You see, the beauty of suffering is that it presents one with the opportunity for great change. It helps us to become better. We can even start to help others who have been through the same challenges we've faced. We have the opportunity to contribute to society and make this world a better place...a place with less suffering! Perhaps one day when it's time all suffering will come to end!
This power to change is within each and every one of us and I believe being too comfortable is one of the biggest road blocks to positive transformation in this lifetime. I've endured a myriad of health issues and still continue facing health issues to this day yet these challenges help push me to be greater. I want to be the greatest version of myself in this lifetime. Now I understand why I've chosen this existence of great suffering. We are given an immense opportunity to be greater than we've ever imagined.
So can suffering lead to greatness? Absolutely! But you do have to make the decision that it's time to end your suffering and then put in the necessary work to create positive changes in your life. It takes time but it's all possible and definitely worth the extra effort. If you can break the cycle of suffering, which we are all capable of doing, than there are amazing things awaiting you! All you have to do is ask God, the spirit, the energy of the universe, or whatever power you believe in to help guide you and show you how to end your suffering and create a magnificent new version of yourself... A version of you that is happy, healthy, peaceful, abundant or simply just better than who you are right now! It all starts with a thought! Then an action! I believe we are all on the path to greatness and enlightenment, but this path can be sped up. It's all a matter of what you decide to do with your suffering! Will you let it get you down? Or will you turn your suffering into greatness? I sure hope you choose greatness! Thanks for reading my article! I hope my story has been inspiring. In my next article I will continue where I left off here and explain some basic steps you can take to help turn your suffering into greatness. 'Til next time...peace and blessings!
Jennie Haiman is a Reiki Master Energy Healer, Co-Founder of Self Saviorz Society California Non-Profit 501(c)(3), Poet, Author and Entertainer with goals to help raise the vibration and consciousness of humanity!