“The only way to find true happiness is to risk being completely cut open.”
– Chuck Palahniuk
In my teenage into early adult years I felt like I deserved to suffer. I’m still not sure of all the ins and outs that caused those feelings, but I would drink myself to the brink of death, complimented by excessive drug use, cutting, empty sex, horrible dietary habits and even a couple of suicide attempts just for good measure.
In my endeavor to understand suffering and its root causes better, I came across a metaphor by spiritual teacher Ram Dass who wrote, “Suffering is the sandpaper of our incarnation. It does its work of shaping us.”
While at first glance that statement may sound simple enough, as I took it into my heart and truly contemplated what exactly it was saying, it began to profoundly affect me. Those simple words helped me to realize that even though I was still yet to understand the psychology of my past actions, at the very least, maybe all of that suffering wasn’t for nothing.