. . . suffering . . . no matter how multiplied . . . is always individual. —Anne Morrow Lindbergh—
Knowing that others have survived experiences equally devastating gives us hope, but it doesn’t diminish our own personal suffering. Nor should it; out of suffering comes new understanding. Suffering also encourages our appreciation of the lighter, easier times. Pain experienced fully enhances the times of pleasure.
Our sufferings are singular, individual, and lonely. But our experiences with it can be shared, thereby lessening the power they have over us. Sharing our pain with another woman also helps her remember that her pain, too, is survivable.
Suffering softens us, helps us to feel more compassion and love toward another. Our sense of belonging to the human race, our recognition of the interdependence and kinship of us all, are the most cherished results of the gift of pain.
Each of our sufferings, sharing them as we do, strengthens me and heals my wounds of alienation.