It hurts, and it stings.
Our ability to suffer gets unbearably hard at times.
Sometimes it won’t let go. Won’t leave. Won’t ease up. Yet so much of our hurt goes unredeemed and remains dormant. It becomes meaningless.
But human suffering is not without its value. It should never be devoid of meaning.
I’m not suggesting you seek it out, but I am suggesting that you should not be afraid of it either.
You should have a deep longing to discover why you suffer and what purpose and meaning it all serves.
Suffering is a part of living. It’s the cost of admission to a meaningful life.
Saying that doesn’t make it any easier.
I really don’t know why we suffer. I don’t know why some of us suffer more than others. Or why all of us suffer differently, at different times, in so many different ways, and have such diverse thresholds for pain.
The fact remain that we do.
So, what do we do with it? What do we do, with the waves of the sea, the waves of human suffering that will continue to batter us? Pound us like the sea endlessly pounds the shore.
Dr. Viktor Frankl, the Austrian psychiatrist and survivor of the Auschwitz, wrote in his memoir Man’s Search for Meaning, that suffering ceases to be suffering when you discover a reason for it.
Pain ceases to be pain when you call it what it is and understand its purpose in your life.
This is why women continue to bear the painful burden of giving birth without complaint. Why Terry Fox courageously started and inspired a nation with his Marathon of Hope.
This is why Nelson Mandela sat in prison for twenty-six years.
He sat there for an unbearably long period of time yearning for freedom because he was resigned to suffer. He knew why he was suffering. He found his meaning. There was no reason to leave his small prison cell, in exchange for the larger prison cell of racist South Africa.
Suffering ceases to be suffering once you give it a meaning.
The philosopher Nietzsche put it this way.
If you suffer and can answer why, you can bear any how.
So, what is your why?
Isn’t it time to discern your purpose here.
The deeper you go in discovering who you are, and who you want to be, the deeper you will grow in redeeming your suffering.
There is no reason to suffer in silence.
There is no reason to suffer without purpose.
Name your suffering and either end it by having the courage to leave your abusive relationship or seek some help with your lifelong addiction.
If your suffering is unavoidable, you have to find the courage and summon the tears to suffer.
Suffer with meaning.
Bear pain with purpose.
Sacrifice for a reason.
It truly makes a difference. It will empower your human spirit.
Discover why you suffer.
Find the meaning for your pain.
It won’t be easy but fortifying yourself for the storms that are coming and resigning yourself to be battered by the wind, without purpose, is utterly foolish.