‘“But, by God!” said Harriet, “I won’t be a coward. I’ll go and be damned to it. Nothing can hurt me worse than I’ve been hurt already. And what does it matter after all?”’ - Dorothy Sayers in Gaudy Night.
Apart from the choice of expletives Dorothy Sayers is making an important life observation. Those of us who have lived long enough to suffer the pains common to fallen humanity know the truth of what she is saying.
Once you have suffered, new suffering offered doesn’t bear the same sting. “I’ve been there before and it’s not a frightful unknown.”
St. Peter, who knew suffering, said, “More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us” [I Peter 5:3-5].