The Wisdom of Suffering…
At one time or another, we have all experienced suffering to varying degrees.
Physical pain is a form of suffering, but mostly it indicates emotional pain or mental anguish.
This has been a roller coaster week for me. A friend of mine, Travis, had a serious heart attack and ended up in a coma for most of the week. When you feel like you’re on a roller coaster, it’s hard to know which way is up, or where the next sudden turn will take place.
It has been my experience when the dark clouds of life roll in, to look for the silver lining, to pray and hope for the best possible outcome. I’m happy to know that Travis has finally regained consciousness and has begun the road to recovery. Thanks be to God!
In his book, The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho says, “Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself. And that no heart ever suffered when it goes in search of its dreams, because every second of the search is a second’s encounter with God and with eternity.”
The Wisdom In Suffering
To suggest that there is even such a thing as “wisdom in suffering” might, at first, seem incomprehensible.
On the surface, “wisdom in suffering” seems to make no sense.
When we are agonizing over something, feeling excruciating emotions, or are spiritually tormented, we can think of nothing else. We just want the pain to stop. People who have changed their minds about committing suicide will tell you they agree with this.
When might there be wisdom in suffering? The answer is this: When you allow suffering to be your teacher. And when you do, you sit up and take notice. The deeper the suffering, the deeper and greater the life lessons prove to be.
Let’s look at this more closely.
In this world, there is no end to the bloodshed and violence; man’s inhumanity to his or her own kind, and to others in nature.
Every day, human beings die of starvation, are raped, and murdered. They are beaten, tortured, and enslaved.
Have you ever stopped to ask yourself why this is?
Is it because the media tends to report the gory, macabre and sensational?
No, these things happen regardless of the media coverage that draws them to our attention.
Underlying the question is a deeper issue. “We have no peace,” as Mother Teresa observed, “… because we have forgotten that we belong to one another.”
Now we are getting close to the answer. It is because there are only two ways to live life: in LOVE or in fear.
And the wisest among us know that the deepest form of wisdom is LOVE. (Click to Tweet)
Mindful Quotes About Suffering
- Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved. ~ Helen Keller
- Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars. ~ Khalil Gibran
- The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of those depths. ~ Elisabeth Kubler-Ross
- Waiting is painful. Forgetting is painful. But not knowing what to do is the worse kind of suffering. ~ Paulo Coelho
Dealing With Suffering
A lot of suffering is passed on to others from those who suffered. They did not learn to deal with their pain.
If you’ve suffered at the hands of an abuser, if you’ve experienced violence, if you’ve been the recipient of unspeakable atrocities, the wisdom of suffering has something to say to you.
- acting out the violence and abuse inflicted on you
- allowing your pain to claim your peace and define you
- wasting your valuable time and energy on plotting revenge
… Identify with the pain. Remember how horrible it was to experience it.
Think how terrible that anyone else should suffer in the manner you have.
When you internalized this abhorrence, you do not wish to see anyone go through what you’ve experienced.
Remember the emotions you went through and you’ll never want anyone to feel that badly. Now, move past the pain.
* let go of the need for justice
* release the desire for vengeance
* think beyond yourself
… YOU develop compassionate awareness.
The wisdom of suffering also tells us to celebrate differences, not to be upset over them.
Always remember: We all have something meaningful to contribute.
Regardless of race, religion or riches, simply accept others as they are.
Some of the poorest people on the planet are the wealthiest spiritually.
The wisdom of suffering tells us to be more empathetic, to be more understanding, to be more tolerant.
Why is this?
It’s because Love is the answer. Love covers a multitude of transgressions.
Those who love seek first to understand, then to be understood.
This is also true because you don’t want to be the cause of more suffering.
The wisdom of suffering tells you that it takes more than compassion to put an end to suffering. It takes love… true love.
It asks us to be unselfish, to be wilfully and passionately concerned for the welfare of others; beyond ourselves.
It calls us to BE LOVE TO OTHERS, to be a vessel of mercy to others.
When you do, then you will begin the difficult task of putting an end to suffering.
Where do we begin when we have been hurt so badly?
Forgiveness. We need to forgive for several reasons:
- for our own peace of mind.
- to empower ourselves by taking back control of our lives.
- to not get stuck in a victim mindset.
- to plan for a brighter future.
- to release toxic thoughts from our mind.
- to return to living in present awareness, rather than focusing on the past.
- to return to LOVE as our natural state of being.
How many times do I need to forgive? Until you are finally free. This is the wisdom of suffering.
You Have A Voice… Let’s Hear It!
Suffering has taught me a deep level of compassion. What has it taught… or is it now teaching you?
I will appreciate hearing from you and learning from your experiences.
Please contribute here. Thanks kindly!