Why Pain Matters

Most people run away from pain.

It’s uncomfortable and disturbing.

We think it takes us away 

from being able to enjoy life.

And yet, on the flip side of pain,

there is always pleasure.

They are two opposing sides of the same coin 

that we haven’t learned how to flip to our advantage.

Most people just choose to stuff the coin deep within their pockets,

rejecting both pain and pleasure,

in favor of a routine life,

where both these experiences are tempered,

and life seems manageable.

Except that life isn’t meant to be managed.

It’s meant to be fully lived.

Despite our best efforts, life doesn’t bend to our will.

Instead, we’re the ones getting puppeteered through life,

thrown from one tumult to another,

taking solace in the breaks between each crisis.

What if there is a way for us to align ourselves with the Universe?

To reduce our depression and anxiety,

our chronic loneliness,

always feeling on the fringes,

disconnected?

What if there is a way to be happy,

but it involves taking out that dreaded coin,

and dealing with the pain in our life head on,

learning how to sit with it,

process it,

and ultimately, 

release it?

What if the force of releasing that pain 

had the power to elevate us,

causing the coin to flip on its own? 

Then we might feel the greatest pleasure of all –

connection.

To ourselves.

To each other.

To that spiritual being lying deep within us.

The thing is,

there is no such thing as pleasure

without pain.

If we didn’t have either of these experiences, 

we’d be living a life of ennui.

Without the pain of our aching muscles,

getting a massage wouldn’t feel like such ecstasy.

Without the pain of going to school every day,

we wouldn’t have the pleasure of seeing our friends,

or in the long term,

the satisfaction that comes from achievement,

the joy that comes from using our education to better the world.

Without the travesty of war,

we would not truly cherish peace.

Many of us live with deep wounds,

from childhood,

from broken relationships,

from illness,

or the loss of loved ones.

We endure tremendous pain,

absorbing it into our psyche,

allowing it to diminish our spirit,

trying, unsuccessfully, to ignore it 

until it goes away for good. 

But pain is like a leech.

It won’t leave

unless we learn 

how to heal.

The path to healing is personal.

It’s not a one-size-fits-all set of guidelines

for finding your bliss.

Yes, talking to a therapist might help,

or joining a support group.

Yes, medication might be hugely beneficial,

or reading about personal development, 

opening up 

to new ways of thinking.

Or maybe, for you,

none of this will work.

Perhaps you just need patience

and perseverance,

the sincere desire to evolve,

to transcend this human pain that is constantly weighing you down,

so you might find some semblance of peace –

and dare I say –

happiness. 

The path to healing is personal.

You must figure it out on your own

but not necessarily alone.

In fact, 

you’re never actually alone.

If you step out of your own way,

start ignoring your inner critic –

that pesky roommate who’s taken up residence in your mind –

let go of all your preconceived notions,

your antagonizing ideas about life,

your impressions of success and failure,

if you let go

and trust

your intuition,

that constant connection you have with the universe,

I promise you,

your heart will open up

to the truth.

Your path will be revealed.

Something beautiful will take shape

from the core of your being.

And if you can learn to trust it,

it will never steer you wrong. 

If you are ready to face your trauma,

the challenge will be immense

but the reward exponential.

Because with healing, 

comes the ability to help others.

And in the quest to help others,

you may just find your life’s purpose.

In helping others,

you’re creating a ripple effect

that will change the world.

And in helping others,

the person you’re actually helping the most,

is yourself.

2 thoughts on “Why Pain Matters

  1. This is very well spoken, beautiful in fact, and it reminds me once again how centered we are now on the fact of pain and misfortune, as if it had no right to exist. As you probably by now know, I responded to your comment on my blog, and here’s a good place to add something. What is the difference between poetry and prose? Or really, what is poetry? An unconventional answer I’ll give. It’s a dream that uses words instead of scenes and things. I mean, if a person’s a juggler, a dream might make them a painter, or show the fight you’ve having with yourself over such and such as a war between two armies that when it’s gets right down to the fighting shifts into a sports event, or show the high day you had yesterday as an airplane flight, or what was keeping you from having a high day as something blocking you at the airport, and I can go on and on with representations, when this is put in place of that to show the inner of the thing, its essence. That’s what poetry tries to do, what a dream does, if it’s poetry that is. The problem of poets is one of symbols used. There’s the universal and the personal, in other words, symbols, that occur in many people’s dreams (continuing to make poems dreams), and symbols that are particular to the poet’s own personal universe and hence hard to interpret if not down right impossible, unless you know of their life.

    My poetry, if you’ll pardon me speaking of it here, comes directly from the same place dream does, what I call the muse of poetry, which, when you boil it down, is a more direct form of dream and much closer to the waking self, or rather, the waking self has opened to the inner self to the degree this form of dream, poetic inspiration if you will, can occur. To interpret such poetry it would help to not only be familiar with dreams and they way they represent things, but also have some handle on their interpretation. It would also help is you’re a more representative thinker, able, for instance, to interpret some this world poem we’re the lines of. If you think we’re in-between the lines you might miss what we mean.

    I’ve said all this because your poem here, and I say poem because it’s in verse, while it uses very apt images and is beautifully spoken, does not have the element of dream of which I speak, can be read at face value, does not have hidden meaning or a multifarious interpretation. It is very, very clear. I just opened a very large and ancient book in a vision, and it’s title was Clarity. The trick is, if you’re a dream poet, to be clear and at the same time able to dress ideas and things in images that take the reader on a delightful word journey that ends in understanding, a deeper understanding than saying it outright can give, one you had to feel deeply inside yourself to arrive at. I can only hope I’ve indeed opened that poetry book.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I like how your define poetry as “a dream that uses words instead of scenes”. To me, it’s like a work of art, in words. And I am acutely aware that I am no poet. Most of my life has been spent writing fiction. Prose is what comes naturally to me, although yes, I do like writing it in verse, perhaps because I want more control over how the reader will read it. I wish that I could write as beautifully as some of the poets who inspire me, but that is a gift I don’t yet have. However, rather than focusing on the differences or definitions of prose and poetry, I think what’s most important is to speak your truth in the form you feel most comfortable. My prose is probably clear and easy-to-understand because my journey to reach these truths has been complex, and I want nothing more than to keep it simple for others. Perhaps, with time, that will change. Anyway, I’m grateful for your comments and appreciation.😊

      Liked by 1 person

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