Victor Frankyl stated that "Suffering is no longer suffering when it finds a purpose." This has been one of my favorite quotes over the years. When my mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease I was so frustrated and sad that I could not change what was happening to her.
The only choice I had was to use that sadness or suffering to make a difference for others. I dedicated my energy and strength to being involved with the Alzheimer's Association and decided by helping others it would surely resolve the pain I was experiencing. Therefore my suffering began to have a purpose. Seventeen years later I am still involved and hope that my mother's loss and suffering somehow was a benefit to others who were traveling down the same path.
We all go through difficult times in our lives and many times we wonder to what avail. We suffer through the loss of a child or spouse, we face the challenges of losing a job or we deal with physical and emotional illness and turn inward thinking that no one will understand. The best way to release our own suffering is to use it to help another. It is a choice for each of us. Do we continue to suffer or do we reframe into living a life on purpose?