I chose these suffering quotes because they highlight the fact that we must go through a process of transformation to get to where we want to be; we don’t just end up there by chance. If you’re battling negative thoughts or a painful past, I invite you to look at your current situation a little differently, maybe even like new.
“Our journey is about being more deeply involved in life and yet less attached to it.” — Ram Dass
The alchemy of personal transformation calls for us to grow through our pain and struggles, problems and fears, and come out the other side, new.
The fear isn’t simply extracted, and love implanted in its place: we undergo an internal transformation from fear to love, anxiety to trust, suffering to freedom. We may be able to choose a peaceful thought over a stressful one, but we’re still moving through the stressful thought, honoring the message, and moving from there.
We don’t toss out the negative thoughts because they hurt; we grow through them because they guide.
The alchemist doesn’t take a rock away and replace it with gold; the rock is turned into gold. This is the case for any kind of transformation we’d like to see take place in our lives. We do not avoid the suffering and banish it into the darkness; we need to bring the darkness to the light, so that it becomes light, too.
Where we resist is where we’ll keep resisting, because what we resist most definitely persists. Resistance never attracts ease.
Suffering is sometimes what it feels like to be human. We don’t grow despite it, though, but through it. The rock must be there for the gold to exist at all. The rock—our challenge, our tragedy—is a necessary prerequisite for the true treasures of life, an indicator of another possibility.
I can declare, “No more suffering!” yet I also know that I’ve grown from it, so it’s more of a thanksgiving than a deposition.
For me, these suffering quotes are like little love notes to my soul, saying “it is well, you are here on purpose.” Wherever “here” is for you right now, know that this season of your life is a season, and you are not here without purpose, and you are not here without hope.
25 Suffering Quotes to Honor Your Very Human Capacity for Something New
1. “Other people are going to find healing in your wounds. Your greatest life messages and your most effective ministry will come out of your deepest hurts.” — Rick Warren
2. “If you had not suffered as you have, there would be no depth to you as a human being, no humility, no compassion.” — Eckhart Tolle
3. “For a star to be born, there is one thing that must happen: a gaseous nebula must collapse. So collapse. Crumble. This is not your destruction. This is your birth.” — Zoe Skylar (I think)“To live is to suffer. To survive is to find meaning in the suffering.” — Friedrich Nietzsche Click To Tweet
5. “Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars.” — Kahlil Gibran
6. “Faith must be tested, because it can only become your intimate possession through conflict.” — Oswald Chambers
7. “The cavity which suffering carves into our souls will one day also be the receptacle of joy.” — Neal A. Maxwell“The cure for the pain is in the pain.” — Rumi Click To Tweet
9. “It’s an awful truth that suffering can deepen us, give a greater lustre to our colours, a richer resonance to our words.” — Anne Rice
10. “Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it.” — Helen Keller
11. “All the suffering, stress, and addiction comes from not realizing you already are what you are looking for.” — Jon Kabat-Zinn
12. “I can be changed by what happens to me. But I refuse to be reduced by it.” — Maya Angelou“The only way out of the labyrinth of suffering is to forgive.” — John Green Click To Tweet
14. “Forgive yourself for not being at peace. The moment you completely accept your non-peace, your non-peace is transmuted into peace. Anything you accept fully will get you there, will take you into peace. This is the miracle of surrender.” — Eckhart Tolle
15. “Suffering is part of our training program for becoming wise.” — Ram Dass
16. “When you feel the suffering of every living thing in your own heart, that is consciousness.” — Bhagavad Gita
17. “Suffering can lead to transformation. And redemption. And marvelous mystery.” — Dr. Allen Hunt“The wound is the place where light enters you.” — Rumi Click To Tweet
19. “At heart, the existential depression sufferer is always some form of gifted individual — a poet, artist, philosopher, healer, mystic or sage in the making.” — Aletheia Luna
20. “Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.” — G. K. Chesterton
21. “I’ve died a thousand deaths, each time reinventing myself brighter, stronger, and purer than before. From the midst of destruction, I became the creator of myself. From the midst of darkness, I became my own source of light.” — Cristen Rodgers“The moment we begin to seek love, love begins to seek us. And to save us.” — Paulo Coelho Click To Tweet
23. “Let difficulty transform you. And it will. In my experience, we just need help in learning how not to run away.” — Pema Chödrön
24. “We delight in the beauty of the butterfly but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.” — Maya Angelou
25. “The most authentic thing about us is our capacity to create, to overcome, to endure, to transform, to love and to be greater than our suffering.” — Ben Okri
- Where would you like to release some resistance to whatever might liberate you: change, forgiveness, slowing down? What area of your life needs something new?
- How are you willing to face a current fear, greet your negativity, or show up for your suffering so that you might move through it?
Please share the suffering quotes that spoke to you, how you’ve made it through any particularly challenging season of your life, and any hopeful stories of change with me in the comments.
Share any or all of these suffering quotes with a kindred spirit on this human journey.
May your visions of peace grow stronger than the familiarity of suffering, and the love you have given and received carry you through the storm.