The Divinity Of The Suck Factor

“There will always be suffering. The trick is to not suffer over the suffering.”
– Alan Watts, Zen master

One of my best friends and I have a sick tradition. We get excited about each others’ hardship. One of us will be sniffling through an out-pour of angst about how wrenching a particular life lesson is, and isn’t it crazy how when it rains it pours with shitty news, and turmoil, and big life do-overs. You know, those excruciating disappointments and Tough Spots — the kind that require a friend to help you navigate.
Sniffle. Silence.

And then the listener on the other end of the line replies, “Holy suck factor. But, you know … I’m kinda excited for you.” And then the other one of us blows her nose and says, “Yeah, I know, it’s great.” And we’re not joking. But we laugh at that absurdity and our sheer effing moxie, and then the other person goes back to whingeing and processing while the listener resumes her role as the receptacle of angst out-pour.

And we believe it. We believe in the divinity of the suck factor. It’s an implicit, and lived, and affirmed understanding: that the Uni-verse trades up. That as Camus and kd lang said, “In the depth of winter I found in me there was an invincible summer.” Or as Nietzsche and Bruce Willis put it, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”

Or at least more expanded. And that’s very exciting. And excitement about getting to the other side is just what you need to get there.




Danielle LaPorte is the outspoken creator of The Desire Map, author of The Fire Starter Sessions (Random House/Crown), co-creator of Your Big Beautiful Book Plan and soon-to-be publisher of DANIELLE Magazine, launching in early 2014. An inspirational speaker, former think tank exec and business strategist, she writes weekly at, where over a million visitors have gone for her straight-up advice — a site that’s been deemed “the best place on-line for kick-ass spirituality,” and was named one of the “Top 100 Websites for Women” by Forbes.

You can also find her on Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter @daniellelaporte.

  • Yes! Looking back everything that was really hard or scary ended up teaching a great lesson or opening a door to something great. I think it’s part of the surrender process, to recognize, like you have, that you’re in a down-turn and simply be with it knowing you will go up. Let the hard part be hard, then savor the up-turn when it comes. The things that we want the most are the scariest to face, because they mean so much. Love what you and your friend have created to support each other. It’s an ongoing part of the cycle. Thanks for this today.

    • The Daily Love

      This is all so true, Tracy. Thank YOU so much for sharing! -Team TDL

  • Nurse Sandy

    Love your energy Danielle and you put to words what I feel every time things happen that suck. The more some thing sucks the more excited I get, just like you describe between the tears and the fears. Right now I am four months into the journey of the ‘suck’ factor that started with being fired from a job I loved and before leaving the parking lot that day I got a call that my sister had died unexpectadly. For the last four months it has been one road block after another, I am still excited to think what door is opening and keeping myself open to the possibilities. This suck factor has been the worst by far and I am exciting to actively wait for God, while keeping my senses open, to the coming trade up!

  • Aurelio

    Thank you, Danielle!… Just what I needed today!… 🙂