Painful situations, relationships that hurt us, memories of experiences that pinch our nerve endings, need not imprison us. However, we are seldom very quick to let go of the pain. Instead, we become obsessed with it, the precipitating circumstances, and the longed-for, but often missed outcome. We choose to wallow in the pain, rather than learn from it. And we salt our own wounds every time we indulge the desire to replay the circumstances that triggered the pain. Pain can’t be avoided. It’s as natural as joy. In fact, we understand joy in contrast to experiences of pain. Each offers breadth to our lives. And both strengthen us. Our maturity is proportionate to our acceptance of all experiences. In retrospect we can be grateful for pain, for it offered us many gifts in disguise.
Pain is often an indication of a type of depth to a particular experience. Sometimes we do not want to go that deep. But it is in the depth that we discover powerful and profound parts of ourself. There is an exquisiteness to pain that demands our full attention and does not allow us to be in any illusion of what we are feeling. That is part of the gift. Minds love to go into denial and into an illusion of a story that we tell ourself to escape a reality of the truth. Pain forces us to admit something that we often do not want to admit. There is great freedom in admitting the raw truth of what we feel, what we have lost, what we love, and what may not come to pass. In the pain is courage. In pain is a place where our soul can rise above our ego and we discover our heart.