“Never waste your suffering. … Suffering just happens, constantly and randomly, and if you don’t make anything out of it, then it happened to you for no reason. But suffering can also be the greatest possible invitation to transform — but only if you accept that invitation, and only if you go through a complete catharsis, and only if you actually change yourself because of what you’ve experienced. But that part is up to you. Only you can execute a catharsis in your own life. Suffering without catharsis is nothing but wasted pain. And you should never waste your pain, never waste your suffering. It’s powerful stuff, the most powerful stuff there is. Use it. Transform from it. Learn. Grow. Be better.”
Elizabeth Gilbert (eat pray love!) references the quote from Jim Maclaren, a man whose story is so incredible that it can hardly be believed.
I’ve long struggled to live in the moment. Still do. A perverse form of being present in the moment is to wallow in lows (or, I guess, to over-indulge in the highs). The trap of the lows is that it’s all to easy to feel like that is is all there is. The darkness, the misfortune, the cruelness, the pain, the suffering seeps into ever crevice and wraps itself firmly around every cell. It’s all-consuming. But, as Jim points out, it happens: constantly, and randomly. The choice is whether to examine it, to look at it, weigh it, and almost coldly have catharsis. Sometimes it’s to purge ourselves of the hate we’re feeling in that moment to get to forgiveness…to let go of self-pity to recognize the power we wield to change everything. Anyway: don’t waste your suffering. Don’t waste the doubt. Don’t waste your humiliation. Don’t waste your inadequacy. Don’t waste your fear. In a really perverse way, in a way that I barely understand, I think there’s as much beauty in it as any of the ‘good’ stuff.