For All Who Suffer…

I did not choose to write about suffering. Suffering itself has chosen my life in order to share with you, my readers, its story. For suffering can only be  understood and perceived by those who have borne it.

Suffering has given me more than wounds. It has given me wisdom. I shall be sharing both with you. At times in humor, sometimes in anguish, and more times than I would care to admit from feelings of anger and vastly annoying irritation. But always, always, my wisdom and wounds are bound up with boundless compassion and  a deep sense of camaraderie. For we have all suffered and will continue to suffer until the day when suffering is no longer a part of this world. (Oh, how I long for that day!)

Some of the things I share are going to cause you to wince in sympathy and/or cringe in embarrassment. (Whether that embarrassment will be directed at your or at me, only time will tell. For, with me, total transparency is just that. Total and transparent. I do not cloak myself in order to appear strong or unflappable or wise. On the contrary, I bare my soul so that you will see suffering in all its naked glory. And that, maybe, just maybe, you will begin to see an image of you; and from that will draw strength and comfort and courage…knowing that you are not alone.)

We are all more than our pain. More than our losses. And so much more than our suffering.

Through the hands of suffering, everything that I held dear has been taken away. I lost my son. I lost my health. I lost my job. I lost my business. I lost my home and all of my earthly possessions. Of all the things that I have suffered, however, the loss of my husband has truly been the most excrutiating I have had to endure. And I have yet to mention the horrors of my childhood and the terror that were my growing up years. One would think that my name would have been better served as “Pathos,” rather than “Cassie.” For that is what much of my life has been.

Before you all collapse in  heaps of gloom and despair, let me share the wonderfully amazing treasure that suffering has given to me. For suffering gave me far more than it could have ever taken away. Much to my astonishment and great delight, I have found that suffering is a benefactor of peace, illumination, and joy. (How’s THAT for stupefaction and a kick in the head!)

I am fairly certain that some of you who are suffering now are almost gasping in outrage at the very notion that suffering could or would bring anything to your life other than its name. Yet, I speak these words with veracity and sincerity. And I invoke the authority of suffering itself, because my daily life is one of just that…suffering. I know just what in hell I am speaking about, and I mean hell in every sense of the word.

Prepare yourself for a journey of a lifetime.

Let the suffering begin…

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19 thoughts on “For All Who Suffer…

    • When a person is suffering, the pain is usually all that they can see or feel. I have come far enough along the suffering trail–I am in the Master’s class of suffering right now!–that I have learned some of the things that suffer has been trying to teach me and to share those insights with those who are in the midst of suffering right now and offer them hope and give encouragement as you deal with your own.
      We are in this together. And I think THAT’S a good thing!

  1. your story so far sounds much like mine, when i lost my health, i lost it all too, my house, job, and husband who was the love of my life, i’ve never seen this as a blessing.

    • When one suffers deep and tragic losses, the very last thing one thinks is that anything good or healthy can come of it…or that good can or will ever come again. But I can say to you, because I have been where you have walked, and still suffer daily, that good CAN and WILL come.
      If I had not gone through what I did, I would not have known the joy of getting to know people like YOU. YOU aer the reason that I created this blog in the first place.
      Your life is not over. Far from it. Your best is yet to come. Just as mine is starting to come to me…four very painful years later.
      Ben encouraged. And keep coming back.:)

  2. Yep, lost everything too! Still have hubby to help me though..thankful for that.

    I, too have found that suffering can be the pathway to finding some joy in our isolated lives. I found a support group, for example, that I have made dear friends from and we skype and talk on the phone, etc, With this communication we are able to share our lives, our happy times and it makes the day go by faster. Sooooooo, I know that without being confined with CFS, I would never have know these folks, or been able to share my faith with others, or been able to be comforted by others. I see this new connection as a blessing. For this, I am thankful!!

    There is joy to be found. We may have to reach out a bit…but it’s there!!

    • Your comments bring joy to my heart and validate my assertion that suffering is, indeed, a benefactor, and not the enemy of our souls.
      Knowing that I am not alone in my suffering gives me much peace and joy and makes the tedious day in and day out of chronic illness a lot less boring…knowing that you understand exactly where I am coming from!
      I hope you will continue to keep me company here at MeaningfulSuffering. You are sooooooo welcome.:)

  3. Hi Cassie,

    I read your blog and I too understand where you are coming from. I have suffered much too. The beatings, the emotional pain, the stabbings, the rejection and hatred of one you once loved, the loss of loved ones, siblings, a son and threats on my life, have all been a molding process for me.

    This, I believe, is why I have the compassion for people, that I have today. I strive to be the friend, I never had, when I was going through some of the hardest times in my life.

    Scars, yes, I have them. Emotional, psychological and, physical. The knife wounds, the cut and beating scars are there, as well as the bullet hole in my leg, are all visible. Those of my mind and memory can’t be seen but, they are there.

    Thanks for sharing this with me. Have a good weekend.

    Sidecar Mike

    • Dearest Sidecar Mike,
      As I stated before, it is for people like YOU that I created this blog for in the first place.
      I was moved to tears by what you wrote. Your words are confirmation that what I said about suffering giving back more than what it has taken is so very true.
      Your love and compassion shine through your words and I have been blessed by you. I would not have “met” you, if it had not been for my suffering. Reading what you have shared makes all I have gone through, and continue to live with, more than bearable. It makes it all worthwhile.
      I hope to see you again sooon.

    • That must be one of the reasons I have suffered so much. I agree with that because my suffering began when I was an infant. (My father raped me when I was a baby.) And it went on and on from there.
      Thanks for your insight. I value what you think.

  4. Upon invitation I read your blog. Somehow I knew that abuse was at the root of your suffering. I have known the hell of being in a severe depression. I have no real root cause to explain my suffering. In fact my life has been blessed in comparison to others such as you Cassie. So I am plagued constantly with a wish to explain my suffering. It really has no root cause.

    But I understand and salute you for knowing that your suffering is not something you have to completely avoid. From personal experience I can tell you that there is relief after the suffering. You deserve to know this relief. I am hoping and praying that you find that very soon. I have learned great compassion through my suffering. I am happy to share that with you. Bless you for trying to find something positive in midst of such pain.

    • Suffering is unavoidable. It is something that we all have done and/or are still doing. The purpose for this blog was so that I could put a face on suffering, so to speak, so that others could identify with and obtain hope and encouragement as they grapple with their own forms of suffering.
      This blog is not about wallowing in suffering. It is about living with it, dealing with it, and overcoming in spite of and also because of it.
      I stated on this blog’s home page that suffering has given me far more than it has taken away. And that is true. I am discovering what life really is and what is most important and those are treasures that can never be taken away.
      Thank you so much for sharing my journey with me. I hope you’ll return again soon. I have much to share.
      God bless you.

  5. Thanks for the invite Cassie.
    We all have suffering in our lives, it comes in many forms. I live with it every day. I choose to learn from it and to try to take something positive from it. It has brought me a better understanding of others that suffer too. It has brought me more compassion. It has shown me the understanding and compassion in others that know that suffering.
    You are doing a great thing by speaking up for all of about this.
    I’ve missed you and love you!

    • Thank you so much for sharing your heart with us. (It is precious, by the way.:))
      One of the reasons for creating this blog (other than YOU, of course) was in order to connect people. To let others know that we are all in this life together. And to love and encourage and receive strength from those who have walked where I walk.
      I will be posting about these things that you speak of, because they are things that many do not think of at the time that they are suffering with something. Suffering does have benefits. It is the reason that brought me to the creation of this blog in the first place and that is a great thing because I have already connected with some very precious people and I look forward to getting to know many, many more.
      Welcome.:)

  6. I know that my sufferings have made me much more of a compassionate person. An empathatic person. I had throught that I had put my past behind me and forgiven. Lately it has snuck up on me and I am soooo afraid to write about it or think about. I know what my fear is. I am afraid I will fall apart again. I know really in my heart that I am stronger than this. I just don’t understand why these issues are being brought up again when so long I thought I had accepted them. Can I talk about them on here.?

    • You can absolutely talk about anything you want here. This blog was created for YOU.
      I am so glad that you shared your feelings. One of the reasons why I was hesitant to begin tackling this subject of suffering was because I was afraid to “go back there” to those places where I had suffered. I was afraid that I would again be encaptured by the things that I had fought so hard to escape. I feared that if I opened myself to the memories, that I would be unburying things that I wanted to remain dead and forgotten. Like all those things I had suffered would happen to me all over again if I dared to speak of them aloud. Those were MY fears. I decided to confront my fears, feel them, and do this anyway. Because I knew that people would be helped and encouraged by what I have gone through and that is worth the discomfort and emotional resistance that I’ve encountered since I put myself out there, so to speak.
      Forgiveness is not a feeling. It is a decison. In my experience, it is also a process. It’s like an onion that has many layers, at time. Certain circumstances trigger memories and feelings and at those times, it is necessary to remind ourselves that we have chosen to forgive and we DO forgive. By an act of the will. Not the emotions.
      Feelings lie to us all the time. Sometimes our feelings are so strong that what those feelings whisper to us “feel” true, so we begin to act as though they ARE true, rather than telling ourselves the truth about our given situations.
      Things come up in order to be healed. And to be dealt with. The very fact that this issue has arisen for you lets you know that you are in the perfect place for healing. Healing is not fun. It involves pain. But the pain that comes with healing is a good pain. (Think of it as having a broken bone. That bone must be reset in order to heal properly. The doctor must hurt you more temporarily so that you will not be walking with a limp for the rest of your life.) Sometimes we have to endure more pain temporarily so that we can be free of root thing that is causing that pain for good.
      You ARE much stronger than this. This period in your life has come to make you even stronger. I am pleased to be able to walk with you on this particular journey in your life.
      Take heart. What you are feeling is normal and is perfectly okay. It is not an indication that you are going backwards, but proof that you are going FORWARD. You are not going to fall apart. The only thing that will be falling away from you is your fear, as you confront it.

  7. Cassie,
    Thank you for your blog. I also believe that my suffering has made a positive impact on who I am. It has caused a lot of pain both physical and emotional, but instead of the “poor me” attitude, I see so many others who are suffering, and I too have made some awesome friendships because of it. I have also realized what is important in my life. I have lost my job, my income. As awful as that is – I appreciate so much more now. I see life in a different way – it’s like I have become aware.
    Yes, I get angry and frustrated still – having a Chronic Illness is not what I thought my life would be at this stage, but I count my blessings every day!! Before this illness I took so much for granted!!
    I now feel blessed for all of the wonderful friends I have, will have and also those I have lost.
    Thank you for sharing your thoughts!!! You are now my newest blessing!!!!!

  8. Wow, You are a very strong person and I appreciate being able to walk through this journey with you. I have been avoiding my own issues of suffering lately, thinking I could move on without confronting the past first. But I realize that is not possible. We need to find understanding in our past to move to a better life for the future. I will not let it hold me back anymore, I am willing to learn from it….. Thanks for opening my eyes !!!
    Jane

  9. If you found good in it…good. I have yet to find it. It’s been 2 1/2 years. I look forward to the time when I will no longer feel it.

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