What Finding Meaning in Suffering Is Not

When you find meaning in your life and in the suffering that you endured you are not doing any of the following:

You are not denying anger, grief, or disappointment because of what happened to you.  It did happen and your negative response is what we all go through.  To find meaning is not to put the pillow over your head and hope the pain goes away.

When you find meaning you are not playing games with yourself by say, “Oh well,  I can just make the best of what happened to me.”  Yes, you can make the best of what happened, but if this is your meaning in what you have suffered, you are not going after that woundedness inside of you.  The “oh, well” approach is so passive.  We need a more active approach to the pain.

When you find meaning you do not sugar-coat the injustice and distort reality by saying, “All things happen for good reasons and so I will try to see the good in what was done to me.”  Let us be honest: Maybe there was not any good in the injustice itself.  What you learn from it will have goodness, but the event itself?  Maybe you will find no good in that injustice against you and that is all right.


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Categories: Consequences of Forgiving, Misconceptions, Our Forgiveness Blog


  1. Tesch says:

    So, I can’t find just any meaning, in other words. Sometimes I want to say that the meaning to my suffering is that this is a very hard world and I just have to deal with it. You have challenged me to do more work here. Thanks.

  2. Samantha says:

    Finding meaning is only meaningful when the ideas are hopeful. When I start to find a meaning to what happened that is a pessimistic meaning, it does not help me at all.

  3. Beth says:

    It looks to me that finding meaning comes down to seeing something good that is happening to you as you bear the suffering that is forgiveness. As we forgive we grow. We all need to realize this for our own good.


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