Suffering is relative of course – and that’s even before we get into a definition of it. The dictionary calls it the process of going through pain, difficulty or hardship. I call it the obstacles you have to overcome in order to achieve your goal.
Sometimes the road is pleasant and fun all the way. Most times it isn’t. It takes twists and turns, comes to dead ends, climbs impossible mountains and dives into dark valleys.
The point of suffering and, as I think I shall refer to it now, “struggling” is that it strengthens us, teaches us to love and to be kind – it imparts empathy for others. No one ever grew and became a better person by having an easy ride. It is the suffering adn struggles in life that shape our character.
Some of the most interesting people I know are in the process of learning, growing and becoming. Some of the most inspiring blogs I read ( like Chris Istace www.chrisistace.com and my own true love simonlindley.net/blog) write about the process of struggling and becoming.
No one wants to see someone they love struggling. I can’t imagine how difficult it must be to be a parent and watch your child struggle. The desire to help, to make it all okay, must be overwhelming. And yet, wise is the parent who lets their child struggle, whether it is with homework or friendships – they learn. I doubt there is much learning for the child if the parent takes over the problem and fixes it.
I don’t ever want to see a friend struggle or suffer – but I also know that it’s part of life and it passes and they get through it and they emerge a better person.
Like so many people I know, I have been struggling with my new life here. I am probably more okay with it than the people who care for me are. I understand that this is a time of change. I have no idea where the other side is or how I will emerge. I have to make some decisions about that and perhaps one of the reasons I find it hard is that I have not set a goal for this. I’ve had tough times int the past but generally with a goal in mind. Right now, I need more of a goal than just, make it through or survive.
I have a feeling deep in my bones that I am looking for some great adventure – something awaits me. But that’s pretty darn vague and won’t serve me well. I am in a place of transition – again.
Again and again and again – we continue to be taught the same lesson until we learn it. I think I might need to become a better student.
In practical terms, I took the dogs for a walk and then sanded the floor – its first sanding. Tomorrow I expect to put in a full day of being down on the floor on my hands and knees. We are going to get this done. I want to sleep in my own bed again. The entire house is a fog of dust. I think I see a good deal of cleaning in my very near future as well.