Everybody has known pain, or will, of some kind or another, and at some time or another. Some have known physical pain, mental anguish, some emotional pain, or psychic trauma. And some have known it all. The pain of a body being broken or traumatized, diseased, or worn out; the pain of a lost love, splintered family, or a broken promise; the pain of shattered dreams, a broken spirit, or the loss of inspiration. Most of us have had loss. And loss is pain. If we have not, however, we will. It is inevitable, like the tide ebbs behind the flow.
My pain is not yours, nor yours mine, but we share the experience, nevertheless. It is part of what connects us as a human family. Maybe I cannot relate to your poverty, or to your wealth, your station in life, politics, religion, or lifestyle; but I can relate to your pain whether I know of it specifically or not. I can understand yours, not necessarily the circumstances, but the pain, and maybe even feel it, specifically because I’ve had my own. It is part of the way, and part of the reason, that people find healing. I can carry my own pain alone, and for a very long time if necessary. But when someone in my life, or a stranger even, shares even a small part of that pain, for no matter how brief of a moment, it can diminish its devastating impact in a very measurable way. We need each other like that.
We all do.
Pain might feel arbitrary, but it’s not. I may wonder why I have this kind of pain, and you have that kind. But I believe that our own particular pain chooses us for a purpose. I don’t know why I believe that, but I do. It is up to each of us to divine the intent of its presence in our lives. It is part of what will enable our learning, and our healing. We are sometimes able to come to a conclusion on our own, but, more often than not, it takes the company, the counsel, and the involvement of others.
Pain has a way of humbling us, and providing an opportunity for a deeper connection with the rest of the human race.
I hope you’re managing the worst of your own pain.
And, if not, I wish for you the comfort of others.