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  • Writer's pictureTiffany Marlink

Suffering is a choice

Being without power sucks.

Being without power and only focusing on the fact you don’t have power sucks even worse!

I’m so glad that I’m not that person anymore and I’m grateful that it took a power outage to prove it to me.

Five years younger me would’ve freaked out and got stuck in a nasty spiral of fear, worry and blame. She would’ve complained the entire time and probably would’ve gotten short with Dave more than once just because she didn’t know how to deal with her emotions.

Current me is giggling with curiosity and taking mad notes to document all the changes she’s noticing in her internal dialogue.

Here are just a couple of my breakthrough and epiphany highlights.

When the power went out, my first instinct was conserve energy. I turned the music off on my phone and closed down all the apps I had open. While searching the internet for whether it was safe to use a gas range to heat the house when the power is out, I realized how well trained and logical my mind was being.

As I watched my mind run through its survival checklist, I also noticed a deeper understanding that was rising to the surface of my awareness. Suddenly I could see a number of options for charging my phone. I could plug it into my computer, my car or our little solar generator. I could also go to a friend’s house which would give me a chance to charge up and get warm.

Reflecting on all of the options that I had for power and heat, it hit me that I live in a truly abundant Universe. I’ve said that I believe the Universe is abundant, but I had not felt it the way I felt it in that moment. It’s hard to even describe that knowing with words. I just felt like a truth that was resonating in a part of my soul.

In that moment, I realized that my inner being is starting to see past its well rehearsed survival instincts to embrace the fact that I am truly supported in my limitless potential. Making the internal shift from what was missing (the power to our house) to the abundance of options that were available to me is a huge deal!

It’s the proof that I have been waiting for!

I’ve been wondering when my world would change to reflect all the subconscious work I’ve been doing and my internal response to the power outage is proof that it is happening. My beliefs and way of being are evolving, and I have the calmness and resourcefulness to prove it.

The epiphanies didn’t stop with the soul level understanding that the Universe is abundant. Then I realized that staying home without power was a conscious choice that I was making for myself. With that choice, I could decide whether suffering was going to be a part of my experience. I think I need to say that one more time.

I could decide whether suffering was going to be a part of my experience.

Or perhaps said a little clearer for those who may not be picking up what I’m putting down.

Suffering is a choice!

I choose to stay home because I was still comfortable physically, emotionally and mentally. I didn’t complain, worry or bask in my victimhood. I layered up, grabbed a book and enjoyed the peace and quiet. I could’ve easily gone somewhere else, but I didn’t want to miss out on all the delicious quietness.

It wasn’t until 24-hours after the power went out that I began to notice a shift in my physical and emotional state. I had started writing this diary entry and was becoming increasingly frustrated with edits. That’s usually my sign that I’m thinking too much and it’s time to step away.

As soon as I leaned back, I realized just how cold it had become in the house. My hands in particular were freezing! I also realized that I had not eaten because I didn’t want to open the fridge and spoil the food inside.

My physical and emotional bodies are telling me that we have passed the point of personal comfort. We have officially arrived in the land of suffering! Abort! Abort! Actually, cancel last. Mayday! Mayday! We’ve got a code red! This girl is on her way from zero to hangry!

I made my SOS call to Dave and we went to a nearby bagel shop for some sustenance. As I sat with my hands soaking up the heat from the car vent, it really sank in that I had hit my limit. I could choose to suffer or I could choose to be resourceful. When we got back to the house, I gave Dave a kiss, packed Max (our dog) and an overnight bag into the back of my Jeep and drove over to my friend’s house on the other side of town.

You might be thinking, why didn’t Dave go with you? Dave drives for Uber & Lyft. So, while I was 4 layers deep at home with Max, he was out driving in a toasty warm car. I’m glad he was out there and not home with Max and me. Snow covered streets make for really good driving money when you own a Subaru.

Within a few minutes of arriving at my friend’s house, I realized I had experienced another major breakthrough. I used to have a story that my needs had to wait for others. I think it came from waiting for my Dad to join us for dinner, but I don’t know for sure. All I know is that there’s a part of me that likes to say, “wait for Dave” and most of the time that’s at my own discomfort (which sucks because most of the time he doesn’t even know I’m waiting for him).

By choosing comfort for myself and Max, I was taking a stand for myself. I was taking empowered and resourced action to make sure my needs were met. Similar to the soul level understanding of the abundant Universe, this is a realization that is difficult to describe with words. All you need to know is that it’s a really big deal for me!

When I told Dave about my realization, he said he was glad that I went, and he would’ve felt bad if I had continued to stay at home in the cold. That was all my mind needed to hear to remind itself that Dave loves me and doesn’t want to see me suffer either.

I don’t know if it was luck, divine timing or maybe I had learned everything that I needed to from the experience, but the Universe flipped the power back on a few hours after I arrived at my friend’s place.

Thank you PGE workers for getting our city back up and running. And thank you Universe for this incredibly powerful awareness of how far I’ve come. I am grateful for the guidance, support and blessings that you continue to offer in my favor.

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