Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Pain

There are no words to surmise adequately the experience of loss and betrayal.

Hurt. Anger. Despair.
Rage.
Anguish. Grief.

Heartache.
Brokenness.
Emptiness.

Words never capture fully the depths of the emotional experience, whether it be excruciating pain or utter joy.

Emotional pain is unmatched by physical pain. Emotional pain eludes remedy. One can try to drink it away, drug it away, beat it away, ignore it away, but to do so is only to deceive oneself. Emotional pain does not respond to these suppressant mechanisms.

To suppress something is just that. Doing such does not cure the pain. It does not get to the root of the pain. It does not dissect the pathology and hence discover how to undo it. It only hides it, cloaks it in a veil of deception.

Emotional pain can only be cured by facing it. Processing it. Pouring it out.

Doing so requires one to submit oneself to seemingly contradictory states of both courage and vulnerability. Strength and weakness.

The only way is neither over or around, but through it.

I have known betrayal. I have known loss. In its various forms.

For so long, I lived a hardened life, determined never to let myself be broken.

What I did not realize is that in living such a way, I was robbing myself from the one thing that would make life worth it...

Love.

And to know love, one must allow oneself to know brokenness. Emptiness. Heartache.

By trying to prevent myself from ever breaking, I was preventing myself from truly living. From truly loving and knowing love.

I was not any stronger by allowing myself to be unbroken. In fact, I was weaker.

I have learned over the years from the lives and character of others, that it is only the broken who must learn to find true strength. It is only those who have experienced despair and loss who truly learn to rejoice.

It is the vulnerable who learn not to give way to callousness and cynicism. The weak who find strength. The fearful who find courage. The broken who find wholeness.

I think of those who are hurting, whose hearts have been broken, and I hope that in their affliction they will find the kind of hope that only those who suffer have the opportunity to grasp. The hope that never dies, but finds more life. The hope that begets more hope.

As Mother Theresa once said, "I have found the paradox in life that when you love until it hurts, there is no hurt, only more love."

To those who have known love and its pains, I hope that we will all continue to love even when it hurts. More love will not solve all the world's problems.

Yet, in my experience there is no better poultice for pain than love.


(Note: this is to the one without whom I could not have survived childhood & adolescence...all of my love...)

2 comments:

Mia_h_n said...

I also lived like this (and perhaps to some extend still do..) but besides love, I found that another important thing I was missing was myself. My true self. My honest self. My happy self. My self...but now I get glimpses of it now and then and it leaves me wanting so much more. Life can be good! :)

Melissa said...

Indeed, Mia, life can be VERY good :)