AFTER THE DARKEST HOUR: HOW SUFFERING BEGINS THE JOURNEY OF WISDOM



I take passages from empowering books and share them with you.  This gives you a quick dose of knowledge and inspiration. Perhaps something you can apply in your life right away. 


These are short podcast episodes for your busy schedule and we tend to retain important points easier.


This also gives you a glimpse into a book that you may have never heard of and make the decision to read it. There is a link below if you would like to purchase the book.


Here are THREE passages from the book, After the Darkest Hour: How Suffering Begins the Journey of Wisdom by Kathleen A. Brehony, Ph.D.



GIFTS HIDDEN IN SUFFERING If we accept that life is transient and that we will lose everything of importance in time, then perhaps we can learn to really live in the present, in the reality of what is happening here and now.  We can be vibrantly alive and greet each moment with passion, gusto, and a soul open to whatever it may hold.  We can learn to love more easily, experience pure compassion, and create more freely.  In short, we can live large.  Suffering often is the key that opens the door to a full realization of what we were born to do and the urge to embrace it.  It sets a course for our destiny. SELF IMAGES AND SUFFERING Take a moment now to think about how you see yourself.  Do you hold a self-image that causes you unnecessary suffering?  How does your self-image come into play when you’ve suffered a great loss?  Do you understand how your personal self-image was formed and, most important, do you think you can change the parts of it that are self-defeating or inadequate to the task of living that is destined to include loss and grief?  These are probably not questions that you can answer fully right now.  But if you keep them in mind as you move through life, you may be surprised at what you uncover.

We are hard-wired, it seems, to remember our suffering.  The details of it are shuffled into both conscious and unconscious places in our psyche.  The parts of ourselves that are conscious are the least problematic, for self-awareness allows us to look at our histories and see where and why we learned some of the things we have. 

When something is conscious, we can look at our experiences with understanding.  BJ, for example, was able to describe his father with a real understanding of the factors that contributed to his alcoholism and faulty parenting.  Consciousness has a way of seeing into the truth and that is essential to knowing one’s Self. Acknowledging the truth about ourselves, our experiences, and the nature of the world is the goal toward which suffering propels us.  It is the way of individuation. 


I know that it’s not easy facing these dark places where truth resides because it requires revisiting painful experiences.  It’s a walk through a dark forest, an encounter with the dragon.  Thoreau was right when he observed that both “truth and roses have thorns about them”-yet perceiving what is true is the only path to enlightened consciousness.

That was consciousness, but there is also the unconscious which can be puzzling.  The unconscious draws conclusions from false premises just as effortlessly as it does from those that are true.  False premises based on one’s history, experience, belief system, or worldview are not seen by our unconscious minds as the lies that they are. For example, Stacy had a false childhood belief of “All children who are weak, ugly, and incapable to cope become the same as adults.”  She allowed this belief to guide her life.  She swallowed pills when she found out the man she loved left her for another woman.  When conclusions are repeated enough, they can be false and mold into our self-image. RESILIENCE People who live best are those who celebrate winning moments but know that suffering and loss will visit everyone’s life, even their own.  They understand the importance of flexibility, of springing back when life has thrown a curve. 


They also recognize that suffering offers defining moments for those brave and alive and awake enough to squeeze meaning and wisdom from each encounter with darkness.  There are seven characteristics of resilient people:

1. Insight-is the mental habit of asking searching questions and giving honest answers.  Such as understanding or trying to figure out how things work for oneself and others.


2. Independence-is recognizing the right to place safe boundaries between oneself and significant others.


3. Relationships-is the capacity to develop and maintain intimate and fulfilling tie to other people.


4. Initiative-is the determination to master oneself and one’s environment, including problem-solving.


5. Creativity and Humor are safe harbors of the imagination where one can take refuge and rearrange the details of one’s life.


6. Morality is knowing what is right and wrong and being willing to stand up for those beliefs.


7. General Resilience includes persistence or persistent efforts at working through difficulties and flexibility or confidence that one can make the most of bad situations.


Those were some Healing Minds tips to use today inspired by the book After the Darkest Hour: How Suffering Begins the Journey of Wisdom by Kathleen A. Brehony, Ph.D.


Hopefully, something inspired you to move forward in life while building your mental strength.

If you have any comments or feedback, please email me at contact@mysticalhummingbird.com


Thanks so much for joining me and please check out the next episode. #mentalhealth #inspirationalbooks

This is Tania, and until next time,  "A healthy lifestyle begins with the mind."






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