Inquiry: I want them to suffer

I want them to suffer (as much as I have suffered). 

Situation: An inquiry from the perspective of a woman who lost her husband and children in a raid by foreign men.

This image came up in a session with Barry, and this statement is from a Judge Your Neighbor worksheet written from her perspective.

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Is it true?


Can you be certain it’s true.


What happens, how do you react, when you have that belief?

I feel hard, cold.

Stiff face, deadened body.

Paralyzed, anger, hatred.

Images of them suffering.

Obsessing about these images of them.

(I am not here with me, my own life.)

Bitter, stone cold, closed heart.

(Don’t allow myself to feel kindness, love, joy, softness.)

Dedicated to anger, bitterness, hardness, coldness, images of them suffering.

Cut off from my body.

Unable to take in pleasure.

(Feeling kindness, love, joy feels like a betrayal of my husband, children.)

Who would you be without that thought?

More relaxed, open up, more kind to myself, softer, connected with my body, notice/take in pleasure.

(A traitor to suffering, obsessing.)


I want me to suffer. 

Take in that I do – bear witness, feel.

Take in that it comes from taking these thoughts as true.

(From the JYN.)

By taking these thoughts as true, it’s as if I want me to suffer.

When I take these thoughts as true, I want me to suffer.

I don’t want them to suffer.

It’s painful for me when I do.

Wanting them to suffer comes from a belief.

I want them to find clarity.

I want them to see what they did – to bear witness to it.

I want them to find clarity, love.

(So it doesn’t happen again.)

I want them to find clarity on the thoughts they believed when they killed my husband/children.


I see that what I really want is (a) to bear witness to my own suffering, and what it comes from, and (b) for them to bear witness to what they did, and find clarity and love.

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