Sooner or later, we’re all going to get hurt. Whether it’s a broken bone or a broken heart, we’re all bound to suffer at some point in our lives.
Everyone thinks that pain is the worst thing we can experience — physical or emotional — and to a degree, they’re right. But the thing that hurts even more than pain is its distant cousin, helplessness.
There’s physical pain.
You can break a bone, then work to rehabilitate it. Even if you’re somewhat careless in the process, you’ll more than likely make a full recovery anyway. You’re in almost complete control of how you feel, and the pain is — more than likely — only temporary.
Then there’s physical pain you are helpless against.
You’re born with a condition that you didn’t ask for, or you have a disease that you could’ve done nothing to stop; neither of which will ever be fully cured. You can work to make your quality of life better, but you’re always in an uphill battle.
There’s emotional pain.
The person you like rejects your romantic interest in them, or your significant other decides to end things abruptly. While in some regards there is a feeling a helplessness here, you will more than likely find someone else, in due time.
Then there’s emotional pain you are helpless against.
Part of the reason death is so painful for people is because not only is it permanent, but also they are completely helpless to the situation. Maybe they died from years of smoking, and your efforts to get them to quit were simply useless; maybe they died from cancer, and there’s nothing you could’ve done to protect their body; maybe they died from old age, and there’s nothing you could’ve done, period.
It’s one thing to hurt, but it’s another thing to be helpless.
Until you encounter a situation where every effort you’ve exhausted falls flat, you will never truly understand the pain that comes with helplessness.
It’s like being strapped to a chair and having someone stick a dagger into your chest; and every time another attempt to help fails, someone pushes in a little deeper.
Part of you wonders if the dagger will ever be removed; another part of you wonders when it won’t be able to go any deeper. Part of you wonders if you should succumb to the pain, and surrender your will; part of you wonders if you should continue to fight.
Pain will hurt you, but helplessness will slowly deteriorate you.