How might your suffering become a form of generosity in your relationship with yourself?

This story of unworthiness does not serve us

Being the winner at competitive suffering is a false victory.

Because it’s not about whose pain is bigger and sadder than everybody else’s. It’s not about whose despair earns the greatest amount of sympathy. And it’s not about whose story of struggle gets the most epic applause.

This thing called being human is fucking hard, and suffering comes for us all. There’s no way to outmaneuver the darkness.

Tweedy writes about this his poignant music memoir. He tells a story about a fellow addict in a rehab clinic who taught him the following lesson:

We all suffer the same. We don’t get to decide what hurts us. We just hurt. And mine ain’t about yours, and yours ain’t about mine.

If you are a person of any kind of privilege, this will probably be difficult for you to accept. Because anytime something goes wrong in our otherwise charmed life, part us believes that our torment is too gorgeous to be taken seriously.

That our little speed bump of suffering doesn’t really count, considering how bad so many other people have it.

This story of unworthiness does not serve us. If we are to act compassionately towards ourselves, we must let go of the guilt and give weight to what happens to us.

No matter how brief our trauma history may be, and no matter how puny our suffering may look compared to the rest of the world, if it hurts, it hurts.

Neff recommends a more loving and life giving response in one of my favorite books of all time:

Put a supportive arm around our own shoulder. See yourself as a valuable human being who is worthy of care. And learn to meet more and more of your life experiences with kindness and understanding.

We all suffer the same. Trust that feeling the gravity of our own struggle is not a sign of weakness, nor is it an insult to others.

It’s just part of being human.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
How might your suffering become a form of generosity in your relationship with yourself?

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