Is there a difference between suffering and misery? I believe there is.
Suffering is part of being human.
It can be the byproduct of an illness, accident or handicap that we never asked for but have been burdened to live with.
It can also come as the result of consequences due to my poor choices or the choices of someone else.
Coming from an abusive childhood I suffered physical, emotional and psychological violence and although I never intended to be harmed by my parents, I was. I was traumatized because of their behaviors. I don’t believe they did what they did because they didn’t love me but rather because it was all they knew. No one can give what they never received and hurt people hurt people. So I grew up and began to re-create my own drama with my children the same way my parents did with me. And those choices caused my kids to suffer. It is a vicious cycle and will continue to repeat until someone has the courage to find a new way and create a different and healthier path. Suffering comes because we live out the human condition in an imperfect world. I believe misery comes from allowing the choices I made in the past or the choices of others to continue to permeate my well-being. And when I repeat the mantra that what I have lived through or what I’m living with now is not fair then my misery is perpetuated by my need to be victimized regularly by the world I live in.
I was victimized. There is no denying that. It’s what I was taught and it’s what I know.
But somewhere along the way it becomes my responsibility to stand up against those who have harmed me either verbally and/or physically and scream, ” Stop it. That’s enough.”
And there are times when I just have to tell the chatter box in my head to shut up every time it wants to feed me daily lies about the unfairness of life.
It is then that I can begin the process of stepping out of my misery, deal with my moments or times of suffering and move on.
Only when I will allow myself to understand the sick cycle of abuse and crazy thinking, the acceptance of unacceptable behavior, the damage done by continued shaming and the tremendous need to stay in the pain of familiar will I be able to find my courage, raise my voice, and stop the pain. Being human is something I embrace, knowing that there will always be threads of heart ache woven into my life journey. But misery? I can let that go whatever I make the choice to end my own victimization.