Monday, January 19, 2015

The Thing About Pain

The thing about pain…

 is not that it demands to be felt. That isn't true. Pain demands to be buried.

And that is exactly why it is so dangerous.

Pain is a tool. A tool that life uses to shape us into stronger, more experienced, and more empathic beings. A poem I once read illustrates this nicely:

"We never know how high we are,
'Till we are called to rise,
And then, if we stay true to course,
Our statures touch the skies"
(Emily Dickinson)

Notice: "Then IF we stay true to course..."

Boom- an "if this than that" statement. There is system and rule to this. IF we endure the pain, the trials, the heartbreak. IF we feel it, and don't burry it, trudge through the hurt and the misery and face it all head on, THEN "our statures touch the skies". THEN we get the reason, the reward, the triumph.  

It's so simple yet so insanely hard. Why? Because strength doesn't come from easy days and little effort.  Every triumph comes from trial, and here's another rule- the harder the trial, the more glorious the triumph.

Here's the thing- it is SO much easier to just NOT feel the pain. To just phase out, turn it off, feel some kind of relief. To opt out and take the easy road. Everyone who faces a trial does this at one point or another. I know I have.

I also know that it is the most dangerous thing you can do. It cuts you off from your reason and conscience, and even worse, it freezes you. We are not meant to be frozen. We are all meant to progress, to keep moving forward. To freeze our progress is to stall our spirit and suffocate our freedom.

Never, never shy away from the pain. Reach deep inside and embrace the fight. Don't forget the war, don't push away the battle. You were born to do this, and you know it. You are brave, important, and a warrior. So don't you dare disrespect yourself by giving in. Fight the battle. Win the war.

The most amazing thing about pain is that after we are dragged through the darkness, smothered in hopelessness, and lost in agony, something beautiful always comes out of pain well endured.