Being With Suffering

Ann Marie Houghtailing
1 min readJun 30, 2023


No one can ameliorate your suffering
It’s all yours

I can only sit inside of your suffering with you
And so I will sit low to the ground
where your sorrow seeps through the earth
through cracks made by your rage

I will let your heart beat like an ancient drum
And let you feel the suffering place
that can feel like an ocean with no horizon

You may want to run
But I invite you to stay

Be with your suffering
There is a kind of savage comfort there
For no reason other than it is truth

What would happen
if you released the animal howl of your agony?
Where would it go if you liberated it
from your innards

Open your mouth
Wide and wider still
And howl

Let your bones vibrate with the force of your suffering
Let your ears bleed with the sound of your own voice
The voice you did not know was yours

Ann marie Houghtailing’s visual work can be seen on Instagram at trailsnotpaths



Ann Marie Houghtailing

Ann marie Houghtailing is the co founder of Story Imprinting, a communications firm that teaches clients the art and science of storytelling.