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I Chose This? The Purpose of Suffering

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October 13th, 2021

By Kelly Brogan, M.D.

Guest Writer for Wake Up World

There’s nothing worse than blaming the victim, right? But what if radical responsibility is the first step towards personal freedom? What if it isn’t bad genes, bad luck, that toxic relationship, or your dysfunctional family?

What if cause and effect can be reclaimed as something entirely within your control?

I used to believe in the mechanistic model of the universe. The one that puts forth a logical, ordered framework for nature and humanity. From this perspective, the automated world is understandable through the objective lens of science, and any problems, mishaps, or deviations from the plan are to be promptly managed, suppressed, and resolved.  There is no room for the perception of anything more than this pragmatic agenda. In fact, meaning-making is a psychiatric symptom called referential thinking! There is only what is knowable, objective, and real.

In this model, there are medications for symptoms, there is technology for the nuisance of eating, and there are chemicals for everything else we might need.  We are meant to go to school, get good grades, get a respectable (high-paying) job, marry, have children, and raise them right while continuing to look 25 for the two decades that takes.  We hide our problems from our neighbors, we judge ourselves for our struggles, and we keep our heads down, focusing on that endless to-do list. Then… one day you wake up.

Maybe it’s a lightning bolt of tragedy. Or maybe it’s a volcanic explosion of unexpectedness with lots of hot molten lava flow in its wake. Maybe it’s quiet and private, and slow.


Recommended articles by Kelly Brogan, M.D.

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