Elizabeth Scripturient (the delinquent, ecumenical (hermionesviolin) wrote,
Elizabeth Scripturient (the delinquent, ecumenical

So, I had a conversation tonight about grief, suffering, meaning-making, etc. -- not the icky "redemptive suffering" kind of meaning-making, but creating things that are meaningful (lifegiving) out of/in those experiences -- e.g., "I have a chronic illness, and one of the things I can do with my experience is to advocate both for myself and for others with chronic illnesses."

In contrast, my response to the idea of making meaning out of suffering is confusion at the question (which yes I know is linked to the fact that my brain goes to the theological intellectual place and hears "redemptive suffering" and starts arguing against that).

Not that I wouldn't become an advocate were that my situation, but I think my response to a chronic condition would be the same as my response to situational grief -- that the suffering doesn't have inherent meaning, it's just suffering, and you move through that experience, and what gets you through that experience is the meaningful life-giving stuff you find in other parts of your life.

Yes, there are experiences of pain which I can look back on and describe good that has come out of those experiences such that I wouldn't go back and undo them, and I think that's a good and healthy thing, but I'm really not interested in hearing how this experience is going to make me a better person while I'm suffering.

This, of course, is all caveated with the acknowledgment that I haven't experienced severe situational grief or severe chronic conditions.

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