An Existentialist Point of View on Pain and Suffering

By: Loolwa Khazzoom, Founder, Dancing with Pain

September 4th, 2010 • Living with Chronic PainPrint Print

I love growing up. I loved when I could start saying things like, “We’ve known each other for 15 years.” That’s so fucking cool. I also love how when I grow up, I have “a past.” And I can remember things out of nowhere. Like I just remembered this little facto while rolling around on my new living room floor, dancing to my “Bedtime Beats” playlist:

When I was in high school, I was heavy into existentialism. Despite being an orthodox Jew. I didn’t see a contradiction between beliving in G-d, at least the Jewish concept of G-d, and believing in the randomness and chaos of the world. I totally grocked with Sartre. I thought he was a rock star.

Now that I have remembered that little diddy, I can’t believe I didn’t remember it for all of these years, as I have battled against the everything-happens-for-a-reason/Law of Attraction/why-do-bad-things-keep-happening-to-you camp. It’s not just me battling this ideology. There’s a whole school of thought out there in alignment with my thinking. And it’s not just around chronic pain or health-related matters in general. This is a fundamental spiritual question that people deal with in life. That is fucking awesome.

I am feeling somehow liberated by this realization, not to mention by the fact that I am still at my core the same fundamental person I was when I was 16 and strong as an ox. I thought I came to my whole belief system around pain/suffering/luck/fate through all the crap I’ve experienced, trying to figure things out. But apparently I’d already figured it out 2.5 decades ago. Nice.

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