All of us have experienced some kind of suffering before, in our own retarded ways. Say for example, you’re socially awkward, and you’re forced to go to a rave party. Loud music, rainbow-colored lights, the collective noise of people cheering for no reason—all of these things you hate. Being stuck in a crowded room full of strangers makes you want to disintegrate into nothingness in a snap. See? Suffering. Say you’re an advocate for human rights. All these extrajudicial killings, murders, poverty—all of these breaks your heart a little. A lot, rather. Suffering. Suffering. Suffering everywhere. It’s inevitable.
There are infinite ways on how a person can suffer. Along with that, there are also many levels of suffering. Well, at least for me. Kind of like being hungry, you know, hungry, starving, famished, and ravenous—all four words convey the same thing but are of different intensities. No sane human being will just shrug off the misery they experience. Whether it is light or heavy, grief is still grief. What we become after experiencing such things depends solely on how we deal with the situation.
But if I speak, my pain is not relieved,
and if I refrain from speaking
how much of it goes away?
How people deal with suffering part one: Keeping it all to themselves.
These three lines capture perfectly the struggle in my head each time I experience difficulties. I think about whether or not I will share it to my friends, because I believe that sharing my experience to my friends has a little bit of cathartic effect for it helps lessen the torment I feel. At the same time, I don’t want to burden my friends with problems that I have to deal with. It’s a constant battle of “yes, please do” and “don’t even think about it” inside my already confused brain. Because of overthinking, I end up doing nothing. Hah. As time passes by, I just let things run on its due course.
Contrary to what the passage says, I think otherwise. It actually helps me when I voice out to my closest friends. I know for a fact that they won’t judge me when I become all melodramatic and stuff. They don’t even have to talk. Just listening to what I have to say is a great help already. Speaking solely from experience, I’d rather not refrain from speaking. I can’t let emotions like these be cooped up in a tiny space. It’s suffocating. It’s like having a time bomb inside of you, waiting for the right moment to explode. Once the “bomb” explodes, a waterfall of tears stream down your eyes.
My face is reddened because of weeping,
and on my eyelids there is a deep darkness,
although there is no violence in my hands
and my prayer is pure.
Job 16: 16-17
How people deal with suffering part two: Crying the hell out.
It is okay for us to cry sometimes. Don’t be like me, one who constantly builds up unwanted emotions on the inside. One time, I was so full of this that I literally cried—sobbed, actually—in front of my parents. It did not feel good, I’m telling you. I can feel the anger and hate inside of me itching to make its way out of my system through my eyes. The waterworks just won’t stop. I mean, I’m thankful that they were there to comfort me, but I don’t want them to see my vulnerability. I want them to picture me always smiling. Strong. I don’t want to make them worry. Ever since that incident I’ve allowed myself to cry every once in a while, just to let out all the negative things I’ve been feeling.
What causes me to feel these things?
Easy. Bad things. They happen almost everyday.
Living by the constant fear of losing someone important is enough suffering for me. Efforts not credited, hard work not appreciated, good deeds unnoticed—all these small things can make me suffer too. I think it’s safe to say that during the times that we suffer the most, we deem it the lowest point of our lives. I don’t believe I had mine already, though some events in the past put me in a low position. I have only been living in this world for fifteen years. For the time being, I have already experienced a lot, and I know for a fact that these experiences helped me in one way or another. One thing’s for sure though—we don’t know what the future holds.
Whatever can happen, will happen.
Maybe one day everything’s all good, and then the next day the world comes crushing down on you. We never know. Maybe bad things happen because we need it. It’s the universe’s way of reminding us to live fruitfully and make the most of our time.
Let me give you an example.
A few times my daddy was confined at the hospital. He spent days in the ICU, and I only got to visit him during the visiting hours. It pains me to see him have a hard time, like when he wants to speak but he can’t because of the numerous tubes connected to his body. One time, while we were staying in one of the regular rooms, we were trying to wake him up because of the regular visit of the nurse—to check on his blood pressure, give him medication, the usual. I was trying to wake him up but I couldn’t. Even my mom can’t. The nurse finally decided to call for help, and I kid you not, seeing other nurses rush into the room while telling us to go out might have been the scariest experience that I had. Panic started to rush in and bad thoughts started to fill my mind. I badly wanted to help but I knew I couldn’t. All I can do is cry. I was so scared at the thought of losing my father. It’s a good thing my mom was there to comfort me. Thankfully, the nurses were able to wake him up. They decided to transfer him to the ICU for close monitoring. Now, my dad’s health is good and he has scheduled check-ups to keep track of his health.
Like I said, I think this was the universe’s way of telling me to make the most of our time with the people we love. This event made me realize that I might lose my father one day. He’s not immortal. So after that particular event I always make the most of my time with my dad. I often give him hugs and keep things good between us by having a very good father-daughter relationship.
In the low points of my life, though, I did not doubt God. I know He made me experience this for a reason, and I know He has better plans for me. Experiencing unwanted things is no reason for us to doubt our faith in Him.
You’re playing outside with your wonderful friends. Oh, what a happy day. But then you see gray clouds up ahead. You start to worry. And then it drizzles. After a while it’s pouring. You and your friends are forced to go back inside. So sad. When it’s summertime and it suddenly rains, don’t worry. Rain in the middle of summer doesn’t mean it’s gonna rain forever. We don’t stop believing in the sun when it’s raining, nor when the clouds block it.