At times, it can feel like the pain and disappointment just never seems to stop. If it is not one thing, it is another. We try so hard. We try to be so good and do right by people. We work and struggle and press forward day after day. We are told there is supposed to be some sort of reward out there, but where is it? There may be a reward, but for damn sure, there is also some pain; so much pain and aching. We see it on other people’s faces, and we see it on our own. Body aches and heart aches; aching to be free of the hurt. But life keeps you running until your side is splitting, until you just want to stop and catch your breath for a moment. Sometimes the pain is a startling breach that hobbles your entire soul; dreadful losses that rupture your perceived reality. Pain so visceral and unrelenting that even death itself can begin to look like a welcomed and kind benefactor. Or, maybe it’s not a sharp jolt of pain at all, but rather a steady, ambient field of uneasiness, loneliness, disappointment and ambivalence that just seems to go on forever. Low-grade pain can be so rooted in your being that the pain begins to look like you, and you begin to look like the pain — it becomes your identity. Unexpressed frustration. Unrequited loves. Unrecognized. Unappreciated. Unvalued. Unhappy. Unfulfilled. Un. The same numbness and disappointment every day sends some people looking for something tragic for proof of life. But most of us just try to stay calm and conform. We conform to pain until we don’t notice it anymore; it’s what you call — numb — and it tragically blots out our pleasure too. Conformity is a type of calm where you hover motionless on the edge of a scream that never comes. It’s hard to scream when you can’t breathe under all the pressures, like the pressure of waiting forever for a second chance that will never come, or a future you can never have, or some absolution for your deepest sins, regrets and failures.
In the face of every type of pain, we tend to think that life will never be the same, but guess what, it was never going to be the same anyway. The only thing more relentless than pain is change. It certainly can seem like the relentless pain of life is unbearable, but you are never more alive than when you are enraptured by pain. Pain is a horribly wonderful gift. We are never taught more deeply and more truthfully than by pain. We are all aching. Young and old — we all ache so much. Our hearts and bodies feel every shock. Pain is as expansive as life itself. Pain grows with us and in us as a cultivation of life’s unfolding. Your pain is reminding you that the gift of life is tender and precious. Suffering cuts to the quick of aliveness. Pain realigns us with the present moment and brings us into a mindful awareness of the labored expansion of life’s gift called — now. Whether it be physical or emotional, pain is usually a messenger trying to help us. Pain is a breach in the walls of decline and stagnation. Pain is the ultimate proof of life. We are all aching for something, even if only for some relief and a little peace. But remember when you are aching to feel alive, that you are aching only because you are alive! Lifetimes are lost in unnoticed moments, but pain forces us to notice. Because of pain you feel more and so you live more. Every beautiful thing in the world is rooted in some kind of pain. Pain is the clarion of aliveness trumpeting that you are living in the marvelous tender cause of life! Your burdens and pains will only be lightened by living ever so fully. If you want relief from pain just strive to touch more of every part of life. Live so fully and so brilliantly that your pain diminishes in your aliveness. Day by day, as you live more, you will become greater than your pain. May you receive the wisdom of your wounds and may you live your life even larger than your pain.
“Only through recognising and accepting our inner wounds can we find true healing.”
— Lisa Tenzin-Dolma