Have you ever been in pain? I’m not talking about the kind where you stub your toe and yell and curse at whatever inanimate object caused the injury. Nor am I talking about the kind that comes from running a distance race or doing any sort of physical activity where your mind is alternating between, “I can, I can, I can…” and “Mother of God, why the hell did I decide to do this?” I’m not even talking about the kind of pain that you feel at the end of a bad day or maybe when you’re sick, or even in the moments and situations that we find ourselves feeling lonely or less than. No, not any of those pains.
I am talking about the kind of pain that feels permanent. The kind you’re not sure has an ending. The kind that you go to bed at night, desperate for sleep, just so that for a few hours, you can escape its wrath. But even in your sleep, you toss and tumble; it haunts your dreams. Dreams so vivid you’re never quite sure that they didn’t happen when you arise. I am talking about the kind of pain that wakes you up in the morning, that clothes you, that feeds you, that follows you to work and play. I’m talking about the kind of pain that is everywhere, all the time. I’m talking about the kind of pain that you become.
But the worst part is that nobody can see it but you. To everybody else, you are fine; you are more than fine. And in the face of even those who know you best, you suppress it. They are none the wiser. But every moment you are alone, it mocks you. Sometimes you cry, sometimes you’re strong even when you’re by yourself. But mostly you wonder when the pain is going to go away.
We often forget that the pain that feels permanent is still temporary. Your feelings – they trick you like that. They trick you into thinking that who you are in this weak moment, is all you are. They trick you into believing that you will always feel this way. And then you begin to define yourself only by this pain. This pain that has broken you, and devastated you, and made you unable to recognize who you are, without the lens of the shattered stained glass that you have come to see all of life.
Well, you must accept the pain. The more you resist and fight, the stronger its power over you. But when you release into it, when you say, “Yes, you are here with me right now in this one moment in time,” it doesn’t own you anymore – you own it. And when you own it, when you decide to possess it, rather than let it possess you, you realize that all this time this pain will never have as much power as you do. Yes, you.
So you wake up one morning as you always do, with a little anxiety in your chest. There it is again – the pain – always eager to consume; to destroy. But this time you say, “Fuck it.” If it wants to stay, then it can stay. But you’re not going to make it easy. You’re going to find happiness and laughter, and accept the beauty and goodness of life where you find it. You will intimidate this pain that you carry, with a love that can bear anything and everything it throws at you. And that love will be too much for the pain; it won’t be able to stand it.
Life indeed will make more pain; it always does. But fuck it. If we can love, if we can still love after everything we go through, life will also always be beautiful.