The Power of Suffering – lasting lessons
It’s hard to imagine that anything good can come from the suffering that we experience in our lives. You do your best to find something positive to focus on, largely to distract you from the pain that is so immediate and all consuming. But what about lasting traits of goodness that you can attribute to the suffering you have faced?
Here’s something I learned about courage. I was amazed at how difficult it was to do even the simplest of things in life after our son Andy was killed. It took enormous amounts of courage just to carry out the most basic of tasks. Simple things like waking up and facing the day, getting out the door, going for a walk, picking up the phone, talking to another human being, going to work. Every basic interaction became an act of bravery.
I remember needing a new shirt for the funeral and feeling like an alien at the shopping mall, wondering if I could function for long enough to carry out what felt like a mission to mars. It happened again when I went to get my hair cut. I seriously wondered if I could sit in the chair long enough to get attended to. I could hear my mother’s voice somewhere in the recesses of my mind “be a brave boy and let the nice man cut your hair”
And it isn't just doing things. There is courage in simply facing our suffering. Courage is not about the size of the problem, but about the strength and bravery required to face any problem no matter what the size. I learnt about courage through these times and I continue to call on these lessons when facing uncertainty. There is power in suffering not because our suffering comes from anything good but because goodness can come from our suffering.