Jan 1, 2012

20 The Distinction Between Pain & Suffering

With some authors you cannot help but be inspired and moved into consciousness, today I share with you a slipette of Audre Geraldine Lorde's distinction between pain and suffering from “Sister Outsider" ...

Pain is an event, an experience that must be recognized, named, and then used in some way in order for the experience to change, to be transformed into something else, strength or knowledge or action. Suffering, on the other hand, is the nightmare reliving of unscrutinized and unmetabolized pain”.


In other words according to Ms Lorde….when one “lives through pain, without recognizing it”, we self-consciously, rob ourselves of the power that can come from using that pain. That pain she states is the power to fuel some movement beyond the ache. She even goes further by saying that one can condemn oneself “to reliving that pain over and over and over whenever something close triggers it. And that is suffering, a seemingly inescapable cycle”.

I’d have to say I agree with Ms Lorde in her distinction of pain and suffering. I haven’t seen it articulated quite like this before, am sure a lot more can be said on the subject however the sistah was on point, definitely something to ponder.

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