You Do Not Have to Suffer

Life is a struggle. Will you have pain? Yes, that is true. However, there is so much more to life. We, humans, share joy as well as pain. There are happiness and sadness that happens. We learn from all of it.

I saw a quote that made me shake my head and ask, “What the actual craziness is that?” Yes, I said it out loud. I read it again and the next thing that came out of my mouth was, “What the hell?”

Here let me share it with you and then we can discuss it. I should tell you upfront I do not know who the person is that is credited for saying it. She responded to my reaction kindly. She is most likely a nice woman with great ideas; however, this idea, not so much.

Here it is…

“Your most valuable gift is connected to deeply rooted pain in your life.” — Amy Beth

I understand what she is going for here. Use your pain to help other people who are suffering similarly. It isn’t the actual pain that’s the gift, but the gift is connected to the pain. Therefore no pain, a less valuable gift to share with others.

My issue with the idea is two-fold. “Most valuable gift” and “pain” are not exclusive.

The value that you add to a family, church, or community, your gift, is not required to be rooted in pain. Your gift should be rooted in your creativity, imagination, joy, love, and compassion. Perseverance through or victory over pain is always a relatable experience but rooted in pain as a catalyst is not a requirement.

Do not tell people that you are not worthy of sharing a gift with the world if they haven’t had some sort of emotional trauma.

This sort of glorifying pain is why depression in teens and young adults is at an all-time high. Studies have shown a connection to this generation’s unique relationship to digital technology as a factor in the increase. By tossing arbitrary quotes and memes about mental pain out there on social media, you add to the collective conscience that negativity is a safe place, mentally, to operate in day to day.

Can we not tell the already teetering generation that pain is mandatory? Please.

Yes, shared experience is how we connect to other souls, but to tie one’s gifts of the spirit to pain on an elevated status of importance is damaging and dangerous.

~Lori O’Gara

P.S. If you send me a letter I will write you one back.

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