There's Beauty in Suffering
Hurt is a part of life. Literally, I’m sure it hurts like hell to push a 10 pound baby out of a 10 cm hole. But that hurt brings life. Whether you got hurt by someone, or you’re the one doing the hurting, it’s really all the same. It still sucks, it still stings, it still aches, it still lingers through the moments where you feel okay, it still makes your heart heavy, it is still hurt. But hurt is also a conflicting thing. Because when you’re the one that got hurt, you usually don’t recognize that the person inflicting the hurt is hurt, too. Sometimes, they might not be. And that person probably never cared about you to begin with. But I think it can hurt just as bad to inflict hurt on someone than to be the one that got hurt.
You see, hurt is one of those love/hate relationship things. It’s like the gym, for example. You hate going on that treadmill for 30+ minutes, however you love how you feel after you do and you know the more consistent you are with it, despite the fact that it sucks, you’ll see results. Hurt is like that except the reward is harder to foresee. When you’re heart is broken or aching, you don’t ever think, “well it’s a good thing I’m suffering now because eventually I’ll feel a whole lot better.” No, we don’t ever see the beauty in suffering because honestly, if my friend just got their heart broken, stopped to look at me mid bawling her eyes out, and said, “I’m glad this is happening,” I would think they were a psychopath. No one enjoys suffering. However, suffering will almost always lead to a greater outcome. You ever hear the saying, ‘it’s gonna get worse before it gets better’? Well let me tell you, Ima get that shit yatted on my forehead because it is so damn true. Jk, I’m not going to put that on my body permanently, but maybe I’ll get it in henna. If things are only semi-bad right now, there’s probably a lot that you still need to unpack. When you finally do, you’ll most likely feel a whole lot worse. However, when you’re at your low, when you feel so much hurt, and you feel heartbroken, there’s nothing else that you can do besides pick up the pieces to your heart and put them back together. It’s definitely not going to happen overnight or even in a few days, but think of it like a puzzle. Unless you’re some child prodigy that spent the first 10 years of their life competing in puzzle piecing competitions around the U.S., a 1,000 piece puzzle will most likely take you a few weeks to tackle. And so will healing.
Listen, hurt sucks, and I know right now, hurt might fill your heart for a while. But there is beauty in suffering, because it will always get better. Pick up the pieces, however long it may take to do so, and know that you’ll be okay.
My best friend, Kathleen, wrote something beautiful about suffering, and whether you’re religious or not, I think it can help those of you out there who are going through a hard time. It’s funny, because we both wrote these today without knowing the other was writing about suffering, just goes to show that you are never alone, and that Kathleen and I are practically dating, but that was no secret. Read it below:
Christ never preached that following His Will would be easy or comfortable or without pain. All He asked is that we accept His love. An essential part of this acceptance is embracing difficulties, in whichever form given. The Lord reached down from the Cross and tenderly asked me to partake in His Passion in a very intimate and set apart way: He asked me to suffer.
We have to understand that suffering does not have to be a bad thing. Yes, it is painful and wretched. I cannot put into words how isolating and heavy my cross has been. However, suffering can be seen as an essential part of what makes us human and can be a way to unite ourselves more fully to our sweet Jesus. He is present, in each sorrowful moment, with every heartbreaking step. He is there. God embodies the greatest act of love through His Passion, the ultimate example of what it means to suffer with your entire mind, body, and soul. The glory of the Lord’s suffering and death showed us the astounding depth of His mercy and His willingness to give it to us. When He asks us to suffer, Christ is offering to teach us how to love as He does and extends His mercy to help us along this path. The God of the Universe, the Creator of sunsets, babies, and E minor, wants us, fallen creatures that we are, to see what He sees, to understand the truth that He is, to catch a glimpse of the Beatific Vision. When we view suffering as a road to Heaven, paved in Christ’s mercy and guided by His Most Sacred Heart, can this not be seen as a beautiful journey?
It would be easy to run away and drown ourselves in the pleasures of the world...but we are called to something greater. Do not run away. Embrace the Cross and the love and mercy poured forth from the side of Christ. Strive to embrace suffering. Accept it for the gift that it can be. Let us give everything to God, even our bodies, as our beloved offering on top of Mount Sinai. The Lord will always provide a ram in the thicket.
I leave you with this passage from Romans 12:1-2. It has become the touchstone of my hope.
"I appeal to you therefore, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good and pleasing and perfect."