Life Stories

the bad thing about suffering…

I wish I could stress the importance of living happily.  It is common to think that taking care of your own happiness first is selfish and heartless, but I know that not doing so can have devastating consequences.  My mom taught me this lesson.  Her suffering was so much!  She had several mental breakdowns and died in grief away from her family.  Since her spiritual belief was to take care of all others without asking for anything in return, she gave, and gave and gave.  And there was never a moment that she didn’t forgive, no matter what horrible thing was done against her.  She was the most gentle, quiet, patient person in the world.  She was also the most hard-working.  She worked not only to feed her own children, but also to feed the children of other women who were married to her husband!

my mom
my mom

Then she let the religious authorities take her kids away and send them back to Mexico.  I was 5.  I remember witnessing my mothers suffering, and thinking that I must have done something so horrible to make her so sad!  Why is it that kids always think they’re to blame?  When I was sent to Mexico, away from her, I thought I must have done something so bad as to be unforgivable!

Imagine spending your whole life carrying this emotional burden that is buried so deep it’s almost impossible to uncover? And the internal negative voice is against yourself.  It’s like a disease that attacks the body that carries it.  It’s the #1 inhibitor for doing great things–or opening your heart.

My mom thought she was doing something great.  She died for her idea of god and religion, and left four orphan girls.

Teresa's Daughters
me and my three older sisters

It never occurred to her to stand up for herself, or to do something that would make her happy, like follow her own dream.  I don’t think she could even fathom the idea of her own voice, heart, passion, love, feelings and worth!

After witnessing her suffering, then losing her altogether, I’ve had to stitch myself together, and watch my sisters do the same.  The devastating consequences of not taking good care of your emotional self, is that you pass pain onto others. Like it or not, your own pain causes those who you love the most to also be in pain.  The ones you want to see happy and thriving, are the ones you cause to suffer by your own suffering.  It doesn’t matter how much you think you give!  Embracing them in your own bubble of happiness is the only way to make them happy.  Your family doesn’t need things. They also don’t need you off “changing the world”.  They simply need you, whole & complete, and with a heart full of love and passion for them.  That’s it!

I believe  that the #1 problem with the world is that it suffers from a broken heart.  Everyone is carrying a huge burden.  Everyone has lost someone dear.  We don’t have to pretend that that’s not true.  We don’t have to keep judging other people for behaving as they do—which they do in response to their own brokenness.

So as I think of all these things, I also think of being the change I want to see.  I also think, if I could look at myself through my mother’s eyes, what would I want me to do? Perfect clarity comes to me ~ I will be 100% true to myself and stay committed to my own happiness & dream.  The world tugs you, pulls you, judges you and spits you out.  I would walk away from all of that shit and draw a clear line in the sand ten thousand miles away.  And I hope that every girl in the world does the same!

2 thoughts on “the bad thing about suffering…”

  1. Dear Gabriela,

    What a beautiful and powerful piece you have shared, I am honored to have read your story. You have always inspired me and it’s because of your passionate heart. You have come through so much and birthed such a splendid voice, I applaud you. And I send you a hug, for clearly you have been through so much pain. I hope you know how much I feel your vibe for BEING the change we want to see. Rock your brave.

    Every. Damn. Day. Get yours, girl!!

    Bravo 🙂



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