Come over here for a moment.
I know it's not been easy for you.
(Someone would say: "it wasn't supposed to be easy", but let's not go there now, because - even if that's true in a way - this is typically something that doesn't help the one who has suffered for so long).
I would like to ask you to take as many steps behind as you need to distance yourself - even a little bit, even for a little while - from what makes your heart ache.
Our goal here is for you to stop (or refrain from) identifying yourself completely with your suffering.
Get unstuck from the idea that you are a being whose whole existence is rooted on suffering.
And, trust me:
You can do this, if you succeed in getting even a brief, fleeting glimpse of your suffering as something distinct from you.
Which is to say:
Yes, you undergo suffering, possibly a lot of it, but, then, you must ask yourself:
Who is the one that undergoes it?
Who Is The Sufferer?
Would you agree with me if I told you that if your suffering is the content, then its container must be the sufferer?
Obviously so, right?
But this still doesn't quite answer the key question, does it?
That key question being:
Who is the Sufferer?
I know very well that your spontaneous (better, perhaps: reflexive) answer is to proclaim:
"That is me!
I am the Sufferer"!
Alas, I'd rather not go there.
Instead, let us take another path to our destination
(Which is one and only, and always the same for everyone and everything, lest we forget).
Let's try to imagine the Sufferer as someone that is not "you" (=the one whom you, by default, take yourself to be).
I say we also try and make Them as impersonal as possible.
Well, so as for you to be in a position to resist your temptation of identifying with Them immediately.
[It's a strange and slippery - if not a bit dangerous - game that we are playing here, but bear with me for a moment...
... (At least, I hope that I've managed to take your mind off from your suffering for a little while) ...
OK, back to our little game).
Let's now give our faceless Sufferer three features... or three qualities... or three special characteristics.
(They are our "imaginary" -?- Sufferer, after all, and we can make whatever we wish with, and of, Them; correct?).
Unsurprisingly, let's start from the beginning with...
... Quality Number One:
Our Sufferer is always there.
Which is to say They are always here.
This assertion is not as innocent as it may seem to you) ...!
They don't disappear one moment only to reappear... God knows when.
They are always present and, moreover, They don't seem to be subject to any kind of change.
Thus, They are permanent in the most literal sense of the word.
What a strange Being that Sufferer of ours is turning out to be...
Okay, having established Quality Number One (Permanence), let us now move onto...
... Quality Number Two:
I would like to propose to you that we make our Sufferer the "perfect container".
To succeed in that, They obviously must be relevant to any kind of content or cargo - any kind whatsoever, without any exceptions, if it is perfection we are truly after here - so as to be able to carry it.
Now, for the love of you, can you think of anything that would be relevant to, well, every single thing that exists, existed or will exist?
Since I submit that you will not be able to think of any such thing, let me ask you another question (not necessarily an easier one):
When you imagine something, does that something become more real than it was before?
While you are pondering on whether there is an answer to that last question (and, if you are really brave and persistent, also to the one before that), let us subtly proceed with...
... Quality Number Three of our stubbornly mysterious Sufferer:
Our Sufferer is as simple as it gets.
"They ain't making them that simple anymore", someone could say, and that someone would be spot-on - in fact that someone would be much more spot-on than that someone would think.
And this is because, in fact, nobody has made (nobody could have ever made) our poor (in the genuine spiritual sense of the word "poor"; ergo, rich!) Sufferer.
Nobody has created Them, nobody has constructed Them, nobody can legitimately claim to have brought Them to life.
Our Sufferer, you see, is so elementarily simple that Their origin cannot be traced and cannot be attributed to anyone or anything.
(Anyone or anything outside the Sufferer Themselves, if we want to be accurate).
So, here you have it:
Permanence, Relevance, Simplicity
Now, all that formless, impersonal and untouchable Sufferer jazz may be good and nice and even enjoyable for a while, but...
... what does it have to do with your suffering?
How can imagining such a fantastic (???) entity ever help you deal with your concrete, palpable, vicious pain and suffering?
Well, the good news...
... (assuming that YOU are also ready to perceive it as such...
... which means that you are willing HERE and NOW to deidentify yourself COMPLETELY from your suffering) ...
... is that it can help you.
Herein, you see, lies the key to your perennial and true relief from all pain.
And you know what the beauty of what I'm about to tell you is?
You don't have to do anything!
You only, simply (yet steadily) need to...
... Be The Sufferer!
Yes, exactly the One I've been attempting to outline (any other word feels hopelessly misleading...) throughout this article.
Dare to step in Their shoes, and...
... (who knows?) ...
... you may find that, in reality, you have always had been in them.
OK, good - but...
... how on Earth could you ever do (or, rather and as we just saw, BE) that?