Eight Keys to Forgiveness: Part 3

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5. Find meaning in your suffering

When we suffer a great deal, it is important that we find meaning in what we have endured.

Without seeing meaning, a person can lose a sense of purpose, which can lead to hopelessness and a despairing conclusion that there is no meaning to life itself.

That doesn’t mean we look for suffering in order to grow or try to find goodness in another’s bad actions. Instead, we try to see how our suffering has changed us in a positive way.

Even as one suffers, it’s possible to develop short-term and sometimes long-range goals in life. Some people begin to think about how they can use their suffering to cope, because they’ve become more resilient or brave.

They may also realize that their suffering has altered their perspective regarding what is important in life, changing their long-range goals for themselves.

To find meaning is not to diminish your pain or to say, I’ll just make the best of it or All things happen for a reason.

You must always take care to address the woundedness in yourself and to recognize the injustice of the experience, or forgiveness will be shallow.

Still, there are many ways to find meaning in our suffering. Some may choose to focus more on the beauty of the world or decide to give service to others in need.

Some may find meaning by speaking their truth or by strengthening their inner resolve. If I were to give one answer, it would be that we should use our suffering to become more loving and to pass that love onto others.

Finding meaning, in and of itself, is helpful for finding direction in forgiveness.

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My two cents: At 69 it is hard to find meaning in my suffering. Finding purpose has been just as difficult.

My purpose was to survive my childhood, direction got lost as my safety was at great risk.

As far as purpose, my father told me what to think, how to act, who to hate and how much better I needed to be than everyone else.

I never developed my own purpose, it was not allowed in my childhood.

At 69 all I can remember is the battle to survive, not to repeat the abuse I endured or commit suicide.

I do not see the purpose of my suffering.

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5 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by rudid96 on May 6, 2021 at 3:40 pm

    There’s no meaning in my suffering. It is, what it is.
    Speaking only of my belief, finding meaning in unavoidable suffering is just another story one tells oneself. My purpose, who knows? That too is more of an intentional selection than a bestowing crown from some invented deity.

  2. Thank you

    I do not understand the concept

    So how do we find purpose

    I have worked to survive

    Whatever meaning you can gain from it

  3. Posted by rudid96 on May 7, 2021 at 8:32 pm

    Maybe, Mindful Marty, there is no “purpose” to survival. That’s not to say it’s “purposefulness.” Existence is just a biological process. Living and how a person chooses to go about it, that’s the Purpose of human life.

  4. How about purpose of suffering

  5. But to heal we need forgiveness and part of that is finding purpose in our suffering

    In our PTSD

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