I am the man, I suffered, I was there.
Agonies are one of my changes of garments,
I do not ask the wounded person how he feels, I myself become the wounded person -Walt Whitman, “Song Of Myself”
“Nothing forces us to know
What we do not want to know
Except pain” -Aeschylus, The Oresteia: Agamemnon, The Libation Bearers, The Eumenides
“Compassion, love of our brothers, for those who love us and for those who hate us, love of our enemies; yes, that love which God preached on earth and which Princess Marya taught me and I did not understand- that is what made me sorry to part with life, that is what remained for me had I lived. But now it is too late. I know it!” -Prince Andrei in Leo Tolstoy’s War And Peace
“Love is…the fullest source of the answer to the question of the meaning of suffering.” -Pope John Paul II
“If we do not transform our pain, we will most assuredly transmit it.” -Richard Rohr
Just as game recognizes game.
Pain recognizes pain.
It’s only when you go through some shit of your own that you can truly understand another’s suffering. If you’re in that place and can help someone through theirs, please do so.
And if you personally are suffering right now, please don’t be afraid to reach out. There are lots and lots of people with “pain and game” standing by to help, love, and support you through it.
P.S. – The painting above is A Hopeless Dawn by the artist Frank Bramley, 1888.