40 Powerful Quotes About Suffering in Life

The below quotes about suffering are all interesting to consider and encouraging.

What does it mean to suffer?

Suffering is the pain or discomfort that one feels during a negative experience in life. We can suffer physically, emotionally and mentally to different degrees and for different lengths of time.

We can also suffer when we perceive there to be a threat or fear of a negative experience happening to us or our loved ones.

It can be often hard to get beyond suffering depending on what is happening in life. May the following quotes at least inspire you, empathize with you and encourage you to move from suffering to more happiness in life. Take care.

Quotes About Suffering


“He who fears he shall suffer, already suffers what he fears.” Michel de Montaigne


“We are healed of a suffering only by experiencing it to the full.” Marcel Proust


“Our past may explain why we’re suffering but we must not use it as an excuse to stay in bondage.” Joyce Meyer


“Let go of the past.” Robert Greene


“Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved.” Helen Keller


“Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself. And no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dream.” Paulo Coelho


“If I could talk to my younger self, I would just say that the path to great things is filled with a lot of stumbles, suffering, and challenges along the way. But if you have the right attitude and know that hard times will pass – and you get up each time – you will reach your destination.” Jonny Kim


“There is an ancient tribal proverb I once heard in India. It says that before we can see properly, we must first shed our tears to clear the way.” Libba Bray


“A thought is harmless unless we believe it. It’s not our thoughts, but our attachment to our thoughts, that causes suffering. Attaching to a thought means believing that it’s true, without inquiring. A belief is a thought that we’ve been attaching to, often for years.” Byron Katie


“People have a hard time letting go of their suffering. Out of a fear of the unknown, they prefer suffering that is familiar.” Thich Nhat Hanh


“We do not suffer by accident.” Jane Austen


“We create our own unhappiness. The purpose of suffering is to help us understand we are the ones who cause it.” Willie Nelson


“The most authentic thing about us is our capacity to create, to overcome, to endure, to transform, to love and to be greater than our suffering.” Ben Okri


“There is no beauty in sadness. No honor in suffering. No growth in fear. No relief in hate. It’s just a waste of perfectly good happiness.” Katerina Stoykova Klemer


“If you suffer and make your loved ones suffer, there is nothing that can justify your desire.” Thich Nhat Hanh


“Man cannot remake himself without suffering, for he is both the marble and the sculptor.” Alexis Carrel


“To live is to suffer, to survive is to find some meaning in the suffering.” Friedrich Nietzsche


“As long as you think that the cause of your problem is “out there”—as long as you think that anyone or anything is responsible for your suffering—the situation is hopeless. It means that you are forever in the role of victim, that you’re suffering in paradise.” Byron Katie


“If pain doesn’t lead to humility, you have wasted your suffering.” Katerina Stoykova Klemer


“Wisdom comes alone through suffering.” Aeschylus


“If there is a meaning in life at all, then there must be a meaning in suffering. Suffering is an ineradicable part of life, even as fate and death. Without suffering and death, human life cannot be complete.” Viktor E. Frankl


“Think occasionally of the suffering of which you spare yourself the sight.” Albert Schweitzer


“Our human compassion binds us the one to the other – not in pity or patronizingly, but as human beings who have learnt how to turn our common suffering into hope for the future.” Nelson Mandela


“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.” Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


“My philosophy is that the most important aspect of any religion should be human kindness. And to try to ease the suffering of others. To try to bring light and love into the lives of mankind.” Steven Seagal


“How can one be well…when one suffers morally?” Leo Tolstoy


“The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of those depths.” Elisabeth Kubler-Ross


“Without pain, there would be no suffering, without suffering we would never learn from our mistakes. To make it right, pain and suffering is the key to all windows, without it, there is no way of life.” Angelina Jolie


“I began to understand that suffering and disappointments and melancholy are there not to vex us or cheapen us or deprive us of our dignity but to mature and transfigure us.” Hermann Hesse


“We need the compassion and the courage to change the conditions that support our suffering. Those conditions are things like ignorance, bitterness, negligence, clinging, and holding on.” Sharon Salzberg



Quotes About Suffering in Silence


“Waiting is painful. Forgetting is painful. But not knowing which to do is the worst kind of suffering.” Paulo Coelho


“A man will give up almost anything except his suffering.” John Cleese


“All the suffering, stress, and addiction comes from not realizing you already are what you are looking for.” Jon Kabat-Zinn


“I hope not to define myself by suffering.” Frank Ocean


“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.” Chinua Achebe


“Happiness is not a reward – it is a consequence. Suffering is not a punishment – it is a result.” Robert Green Ingersoll


“True, I am in love with suffering, but I do not know if I deserve the honor.” Saint Ignatius


“Too much self-centered attitude, you see, brings, you see, isolation. Result: loneliness, fear, anger. The extreme self-centered attitude is the source of suffering.” Dalai Lama


“Almost all our suffering is the product of our thoughts. We spend nearly every moment of our lives lost in thought, and hostage to the character of those thoughts. You can break this spell, but it takes training just like it takes training to defend yourself against a physical assault.” Sam Harris


“Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it.” Helen Keller


For more encouraging and comforting words, be sure to check out:

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