Like the Buddhists say, suffering is always a part of life. So at one point or another, more likely at many points in life, you have suffered. God knows I have. But I can almost guarantee if I were to ask people on the street if they have experienced suffering, each and every person would say yes, to live is to suffer.
“To live is to suffer, to survive is to find some meaning in the suffering” -Nietzche
What I’m coming to realize, is that the meaning of suffering is to connect us all. When you find a person in your life who understands your suffering, maybe just in that moment, that is where the meaning lies. It is to know that we are not alone. Suffering with love around you in incomparable to suffering alone. But for some, their acceptable level of suffering is incomprehensible to you. So you are unable to connect with that person. But that’s okay. Every person has a varying level of acceptable suffering, some people say, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. But I believe that those things give you meaning.
Your life is created through experiences, through learning. So when there is a time of seemingly inescapable suffering in your life, and you emerge on the other side, either gradually or all at once. The meaning of that experience is to know resilience, without characteristics like that to be tested, I would never know what I am truly capable of. To accept that I may be suffering in a particular moment is giving another chapter to my story, because we all suffer. Relatively speaking, to live is to accept a variety of levels of suffering. To be tested and to find the will to believe that is what gives those experiences meaning.
To find human connection during the darkest nights is what feels like an equalizer. Because to breakdown life to a bare minimum, I still think it means that we need to love and be loved in return, throughout each and every level of suffering.