Pain and suffering.
It is undeniable that all of us are born to suffer and to experience pain.
It is an unescapable part of our human reality.
Throughout your life you will experience the sting of living. The loss of someone you loved. The agony of being abused or tormented. The pain of being a long-time addict.
Some suffering seems to last forever, and for some people, it does. The pain never truly goes away. It hides and refuses to leave. Becomes muted and fades for a brief period of time, only to flare up again, and consume them unsuspectingly.
It is going to hurt like hell.
That’s for sure.
But this is not the whole story.
That is not your story.
Just because pain is an unescapable and unavoidable human condition, doesn’t mean that it carries no value or holds no ultimate meaning for our lives.
That is the springboard of our conversation.
The meaning of human suffering.
You may disagree, but your pain has tremendous meaning.
Granted, it is a tough reality to embrace at the best of times and it is certainly not easy to believe in the redemptive power of suffering when you are drowning in another person’s filth, or laying numb, refusing to go on.
But all suffering, all pain, offers tremendous value, to everyone who seeks it out.
Suffering is not like an ache. It’s more like a gas.
It doesn’t only hurt here or there, but it suffocates and consumes our entire being.
It doesn’t matter in the least how much or how little gas fills your lungs, it will inevitably bring you to your knees, gasping for air, just the same. Which is fruitless then, to compare our pain; to compare wounds or rank our many circles of hell.
When our suffering abates. When the storm subsides. When our agony fades. We have to search for the purpose of the pain. You have to search for meaning.
You have to summon the courage to find it because it is there.
A hidden gift.
An inspiring example for you, but also for other people.
Suffering has tremendous meaning.
It has great value, but sadly, too many people choose to suffer alone.
Too many people seek to dig the unforgiven or seek relief in anything else but each other.
When a Canadian goose is hurt, they leave their formation and head down to rest. They never leave alone. Another goose, comes along with them. To help them. To protect them. To ease their suffering.
Should we be more like the Canadian geese?
It is never good to suffer in silence. It serves no purpose. It causes more harm.
It makes the whole world distant.
Your suffering is meant to be shared because there is nothing that says you must face all of this alone.
You are not helpless.
There is a tremendous power in being a human being. We have the divine ability to feel each other’s pain. To connect. To suffer together. To offer consolation and hope to one another.
Yet the victim who suffers is crippled by fear.
The fear of being misunderstood. The fear of being judged. Laughed at. Told to get on with it. To suck it up. To stop their ridiculous and unwanted whining.
But this great fear is not real.
True, some people are assholes. No doubt about it. They would defecate in your cornflakes if let them. They are not the goose you are looking for. They are a nauseating pigeon who shits all over everything.
Ignore this pigeon.
Fly down in the company of a true friend.
Don’t be afraid to be vulnerable. Your friend is vulnerable too.
You would be surprised how they suffer.
Suffer in silence.
They are searching for meaning too.