In these matters, it depends a lot on what you believe. The messages we get through communications with guides, holy figures, and such, are more or less affected by our beliefs and emotions. So, when you're asking for guidance you have to make an effort to leave aside your beliefs, emotions, expectations.
For example, the specifics of your belief in karma might make it more likely that you're guided to accept penitence for past life behavior. I don't believe in karmic punishment, just in karmic influences that materialize in our lives, and that we have the choice and the free will to deal with those materializations.
In your case, rather than accepting a prolonged suffering, it should be more important to identify exactly what past life behavior caused your current situation, and realizing that might be enough for you to move on, and get out your current "punishment" / debt. Again, suffering isn't necessary, as far as I know, especially after you identified its cause.
Find out exactly what you have done that karmically caused your current problem. Ask Buddha!
Everything expressed here is what I believe. Keep that in mind when you read my post, as I kept it in mind when I wrote it. I don't parrot others. Most of my spiritual beliefs come from direct channeling guidance. I have no interest in arguing whose belief is right, and whose is wrong. I'm here just to express my opinions, and read about others'.