Unfortunately, I know you well. A little too well, actually. I’ve watched you come and go throughout my life, sometimes disguised as pleasure, and I have to say, it is never easy or comfortable when you come to visit me. Most of the time you appear without warning, out of nowhere, and end up making me feel scared, angry, disappointed, upset, and hurt. Your timing is incredible because it’s always inconvenient with my plans, forcing me to stop what I’m doing or take another detour.
However, these stops and detours have served a purpose while you were here. All because of you, Pain, I found ways to handle you, heal you, and let you go. There is no strength if there is no struggle, and if there’s any silver lining to be found within you, this is it. You’ve given my emotional muscles a real workout.
You see, Pain turned up the volume of the unworthy voices in my head, and I believed them. Pain knocked me down, but I fought to live. Pain was my best teacher and worst nightmare all rolled into one. I’ll never forget the lessons learned in the classroom outside the classroom. Pain tried to make me fail, but after a while, I passed the tests and received the blessing of insight. Looking back, I see what needed to learn and why. So many rich meanings and a spiritual awakening occurred.
Pain, I can’t carry you around on my back anymore. You are too heavy and dark for me. Not only do I need light, but I also need to feel light. I finally realize Pain is a reverse role model of what not to do.
Thanks to you, Pain, I found new hobbies, interests, friends, work, perspective on life, parenting skills, awareness, and a new life. Everything got better. I even taught my kids how to handle you, because unfortunately, they have seen you too. Now I have more compassion, empathy, strength, and understanding for others dealing with loss, suffering, and divorce.
Thanks again to you, I discovered the power of music, reading, writing, practicing mindfulness, living in the moment, accepting truths, and forgiveness.
Writing is a big part of who I am; it leads me back to myself. Happiness doesn’t come to me, it comes from me. It is a choice and how I perceive life experiences. Writing makes me happy.
You taught me the hard way to put the relationship with myself first so I don’t put myself second to others. I question what real love is and what I want and need from a meaningful relationship. You showed me dealbreakers, pitfalls, narcissism, and toxicity, and you wove red flags in my face. Now I ask more questions and I’m careful with who I trust. You’ve sent me difficult and selfish people, heartbreak, loss, tragic events, unfortunate circumstances to handle, which taught me many things about myself and life. Because I’ve been cheated and deceived, I’ve become more vigilant and discerning. Respect is a two-way street, and I accept nothing less. You certainly tested my patience and my ability to control my emotions. Now I can see one of the reasons why you showed up was to protect me from other forms of pain.
At the moment, I am practicing gratitude on a daily basis. My heart feels lighter, more peaceful. I’m finished hiding behind you, Pain; now I’m more obvious. I found the courage to stand up and live my best life, imperfections and all. What I’ve learned is this: If you focus on the hurt, you will continue to suffer. If you focus on the lessons, you will continue to grow. I got to know you well, Pain. All because of you, I grew, learned, discovered, and even avoided you. People came and went, thanks to you.
Now I am a woman who feels free, empowered and happy with myself. I am now a woman who never gives up. I can walk away from you, but with a grateful heart for all the life lessons. I know I can’t live my life Pain-free, but the next time you do arrive, I aim to be more prepared.
I never thought I would say this, but thank you for showing up in my life and for everything you’ve taught and brought me. I’m exactly where I need to be in my life with my work, friends, family, love, and myself. No experience goes wasted. If it weren’t for you, I wouldn’t be me, right here, right now.