Suffering equals being 100% present to whatever the situation is, both for self and if there is another involved, for them as well. I chose suffering when I helped my mother heal after she broke her kneecap 2 years ago. She is a very anxious person and extremely afraid of nearly everything. I allowed myself to be with her 24/7 as her caretaker and helped guide her through her own pain; physical, mental, emotional. I sat with her, read to her, and did my best to meet all her needs while letting go of many of my own; choosing to be present rather than in safety. At the same time, I also chose to keep a commitment to a once in a lifetime performance trip to Kenya for a storytelling festival for which I had auditioned 1.5 years earlier. It was 2 months after her injury, she was doing well with physical therapy and seeing a therapist. I made arrangements with her sisters (who both lived 10 minutes away) and with the neighbor right next door to check on her daily. I went and performed, emailed daily and learned my Mom was doing very well with her healing. It was an interesting space to be in; to both have been so present in the early stages of recovery and then to allow myself to let go and for her to grow into further healing. It helped both of us. I suppose that was the joy in it; seeing the progression and also being in the depths of the pain/healing.