Suffering is not a badge of honor.

How many pages have been written on the concept of suffering? How many broken hearts have poured out their languish onto the pages of the communal ‘know’? 

Maybe too many. 

Because we all hurt. We all have been hurt. We all have seen relationships devoid of love, have mourned the loss of the beloved, and have witnessed countless global tragedies, driven by hate and pride. 

Suffering is something we accept as a fate the Universe has thought too little to spare us of. Or maybe we accept suffering as the result of mankind’s inner demons - the ones we can’t escape. 

And when it comes to personal suffering, to those events that make us desire apathy over feeling, we cover ourselves up with a subtle ego and shout - ‘you don’t understand.’ 

And you’re right. 

But suffering is not a badge of honor. 

We can sometimes get caught in the trap of labeling ourselves ‘victim’, lording our pain over others in our lives, shouting again and again - ‘you don’t understand, you don’t understand, you don’t understand.’ 

And you’re right. 

But suffering is not a badge of honor. 

And maybe no one will ever know how deeply you felt, maybe your accusers will gain the upper hand, maybe your tragedies will be overlooked by those who govern ‘justice’, maybe you’ll never receive the answers you deserve. 

And I swear, you do deserve answers. 

But suffering is not a badge of honor. 

Our response to suffering is. 

As we unfurl our hands to let the last of the ashes of our old lives go, we keep them open to receive and give kindness. 

As we open our eyes in the darkness and see nothing but black, we close them again, a fiery hope burning within us, keeping the faith that one day we will see light. 

As we close the cages of our hearts to mourn the loss of the greatest loves we had ever wished to know, we keep the key tucked away in a secret place, trusting that love does not remain absent for long. 

‘You don’t understand, you don’t understand’ 

I know.

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