Suffering Quotes

Most popular suffering quotes

Untold suffering seldom is.
Wisdom comes alone through suffering.


I love the majesty of human suffering.
Experience is the extract of suffering.


Suffering is a part of the Divine idea.


Suffering isn't ennobling, recovery is.

health recovery

Nations are born out of travail and suffering.
Excess of sorrow laughs.  Excess of joy weeps.

joy sorrow

All of our miseries are nothing but attachment.


Self-suffering is the truest test of sincerity.
Some people suffer in silence louder than others.
Know how sublime a thing it is
To suffer and be strong.
Neurosis is always a substitute for legitimate suffering.

neurotics psychiatrist psychology

Suffering is also one of the ways of knowing you're alive.
Shared joy is a double joy; shared sorrow is half a sorrow.
— Swedish proverb

European proverbs joy proverbs sorrow Swedish proverbs

Let us suffer if we must, but let us suffer on the heights.
We should spread joy, but, as far as we can, repress sorrow.


Joy goes as deep as sorrow, but leaves less of itself behind.


The quickest horse that carries you to perfection is suffering.
Knowledge by suffering entereth,
And Life is perfected by Death.
We are healed of a suffering only by experiencing it to the full.
We are healed from suffering only by experiencing it to the full.
The source of one's joy is also often the source of one's sorrow.


A man who fears suffering is already suffering from what he fears.
There are deeds
Which have no form, sufferings
which have no tongue.
There is only one road to true human greatness: the road through suffering.


The task is to use our suffering and to use it so well that we can use it up.
The three pillars of learning; seeing much, suffering much, and studying much.


Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it.

hopeful positive

Although the world is full of suffering, it is full also of the overcoming of it.
It is only in sorrow bad weather masters us; in joy we face the storm and defy it.

joy sorrow

Suffering of sentient beings is like decay; it fertilizes the growth of their souls.
You cannot insult a man more atrociously than by refusing to believe he is suffering.
The capacity to suffer varies more than anything that I have observed in human nature.
We shall draw from the heart of suffering itself the means of inspiration and survival.

inspiration motivational

Perhaps the worst thing about suffering is that it finally hardens the hearts of those around it.
Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars.


You desire to know the art of living, my friend?  It is contained in one phrase: make use of suffering.
Life is truly known only to those who suffer, lose, endure adversity, and stumble from defeat to defeat.

adversity defeat life stumble

Deep, unspeakable suffering may well be called a baptism, a regeneration, the initiation into a new state.
Everything in life that we really accept undergoes a change.  So suffering must become Love.  That is the mystery.
Suffering is not a virtue in and of itself, but it can be virtuous, depending upon the way in which we deal with it.
Human nature is constructed in such a way that you end up learning much more from suffering than from a life of ease.
Man must remake himself.  And he cannot remake himself without suffering.  For he is both the marble and the sculptor.
Grace doesn't depend on suffering to exist, but where there is suffering you will find grace in many facets and colors.


Clergyman and people who use phrases without wisdom sometimes talk of suffering as a mystery. It is really a revelation.
To be good we must needs have suffered; but perhaps it is necessary to have caused suffering before we can become better.


What actually fills you with indignation as regards suffering is not suffering in itself but the pointlessness of suffering.
People have a hard time letting go of their suffering. Out of a fear of the unknown, they prefer suffering that is familiar.


Your joy is your sorrow unmasked.  And the selfsame well from which your laughter rises was oftentimes filled with your tears.

joy laughter

The seed of suffering in you may be strong, but don't wait until you have no more suffering before allowing yourself to be happy.


Happy are we who, upon hearing the call to justice, feel our insides burn when we see the misery of millions of people in the world.
Many men are deeply moved by the mere semblance of suffering in a woman; they take the look of pain for a sign of constancy or of love.

men and women

When suffering knocks at your door and you say there is no seat for him, he tells you not to worry because he has brought his own stool.
If we could read the secret history of our enemies, we should find in each man's life sorrow and suffering enough to disarm all hostility.

enemies sorrow

Suffering is universal, suffering is that which unites all us living beings together; it is the universal or divine blood that flows through us all.
It is not true that suffering ennobles the character; happiness does that sometimes, but suffering, for the most part, makes men petty and vindictive.
The saddest thing in life and the hardest to live through is the knowledge that there is someone you love very much whom you cannot save from suffering.


Most people get a fair amount of fun out of their lives, but on balance life is suffering, and only the very young or the very foolish imagine otherwise.


The scene of suffering is a scene of joy when the suffering is past; and the silent reminiscence of hardships departed, is sweeter than the presence of delight.
To live is to suffer, to survive is to find meaning in the suffering.  If there is any purpose to life at all there must be a purpose in suffering and in dying.
It is from pain and our own limits where we best learn to grow, and from our own flaws surges the deep question: haven't we suffered enough to decide to break old patterns?
Suffering—how divine it is, how misunderstood!  We owe to it all that is good in us, all that gives value to life; we owe to it pity, we owe to it courage, we owe to it all the virtues.
We need not only a purpose in life to give meaning to our existence but also something to give meaning to our suffering.  We need as much something to suffer for as something to live for.

purpose of life

Whenever evil befalls us, we ought to ask ourselves, after the first suffering, how we can turn it into good.  So shall we take occasion, from one bitter root, to raise perhaps many flowers.


Man never reasons so much and becomes so introspective as when he suffers; since he is anxious to get at the cause of his sufferings, to learn who has produced them, and whether it is just or unjust that he should have to bear them.
I do not believe that sheer suffering teaches. If suffering alone taught, all the world would be wise, since everyone suffers. To suffering must be added mourning, understanding, patience, love, openness and the willingness to remain vulnerable.
Indeed, the truth that many people never understand, until it is too late, is that the more you try to avoid suffering, the more you suffer, because smaller and more insignificant things begin to torture you, in proportion to your fear of being hurt.
I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must always take sides.  Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim.  Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.  Sometime we must interfere.


Suffering, on the other hand, is the nightmare reliving of unscrutinized and unmetabolized pain.  When I live through pain without recognizing it, self-consciously, I rob myself of the power that can come from using that pain, the power to fuel some movement beyond it.
The goodness of suffering is something real. Without suffering there cannot be happiness. Without mud there cannot be any lotus flowers. So if you know how to suffer, suffering is OK. And the moment you have that attitude, you don't suffer much anymore. And out of suffering, a lotus flower of happiness can open.


If we can hold our anger, our sorrow, and our fear with the energy of mindfulness, we will be able to recognize the roots of our suffering. We will be able to recognize the suffering in the people we love as well. Mindfulness helps us to not be angry at our loved ones, because when we are mindful, we understand that our loved ones are suffering as well.

buddhist mindfulness

This is our point: humans suffer, in part, because they are verbal creatures. If this is so, then here is the problem: the verbal skills that create misery are too useful and central to human functioning to ever stop operating. That means suffering is an unavoidable part of the human condition, at least until we know how to better manage the skills language itself has given us.


For forty-five years, the Buddha said, over and over again, "I teach only suffering and the transformation of suffering." When we recognize and acknowledge our own suffering, the Buddha — which means the Buddha in us — will look at it, discover what has brought it about, and prescribe a course of action that can transform it into peace, joy, and liberation. Suffering is the means the Buddha used to liberate himself, and it is also the means by which we can become free.


The tendency to run away from suffering is there in every one of us. We think that by seeking pleasure we'll avoid suffering. But this doesn't work. It stunts our growth and our happiness. Happiness isn't possible without understanding, compassion, and love. And love is not possible if we don't understand our suffering and the other person's suffering. Getting in touch with suffering will help us cultivate compassion and love. Without understanding and love we can't be happy, and we can't make other people happy. We all have the seeds of compassion, forgiveness, joy, and nonfear in us. If we're constantly trying to avoid suffering, there is no way for these seeds to grow.

buddhist happiness