Pain is universal, while also being so unique to a given cause. Emotional, mental, or physical. The pain we ourselves feel or the pain we feel for someone else. Being hit in the face or being told unkind words. Being betrayed or lied to, let down or disappointed. Our bodies bruise. Our hearts bruise. Our ego and our pride bruise. We try like hell to avoid it, yet are followed around all our lives by its unwanted shadow.
Some say the more often we feel it, the stronger we become. For most, pain is poison. It can weaken the soul if we let it, devour every muscle and bone, every fiber of our being until it consumes us. We can learn from pain, to never place our hand in the fire twice. But we are often foolish, either forgetting the sensation or attempting to feel the flame in a different way, always yielding the same result, always burning.
Pain evolves. It assumes a different form if you hold on to it for too long, taking on new shapes and tastes of constant acidic bitterness. Pain feeds on pain. It thrives on our need to cling to our demons and dwell on our pasts. We carry our pain, lock it up in suitcases or wear it like a jacket. We might hide it under the bed or hang it up in the back of the closet, but whenever the time comes to move onward, we make sure to take it with us. It belongs to us. It becomes us. Taking up too much space to allow anything else in, it can become all we make room for.
The weight of our pain only gets heavier and harder to carry with time. We can choose to travel light. Rather than tucking our pain away or giving it to others to deal with, we can unpack it. Take a good look at it and decide to take the lighter jacket instead. Leaving the pain behind, we just might find there is plenty more to keep us warm.