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Published on
Apr 7, 2021
Published on
February 19, 2023

On Suffering

A therapist's reflections on suffering.

Podcast Transcript:

I believe suffering is a part of our human experience. For you who have suffered, you’re not alone; but you’ve been alone. You are alone. This may seem preferred but also terrible and also terrifying. Suffering is scary. Suffering alone is scary. And scary to suffer with another.

I see your suffering. I see that it has lingered. I see that it has been here; that it is still here. I see that it is no longer here. But that you’re here, you and your suffering. Parts of you, parts of your suffering.

I feel your suffering. Sometimes I will feel it with you and sometimes I will not. I won’t know what it has felt like for you, but you will show me, and I will feel it as you’ve felt it. Sometimes I will feel it when you don’t. Sometimes we both won’t feel it and we’ll wonder if it is still here, how can we find it. Sometimes you won’t want to find it. Sometimes I may struggle finding it. Communicating the feeling will sometimes be verbal and sometimes be very non-verbal. It may come out of you and into me and I will hold it for a little while. And I will sit with it, with you.

I know suffering. I won’t know your suffering as you do but sometimes I may know it more than you do. There are some parts of your suffering we may never fully know. We may not really know what is known and what is unknown. We may not know you apart from your suffering. But we can know you and know your suffering.

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