The Key to Cultivate, Know and Appreciate

__by_unusualdream-d3el04tOthers have known greater emotional pain than me, but my life has included a healthy share of it. I used to think my allotment was enough to make me a “special” case. For a long time I thought the quantity of pain that came my way was more than most. But I learned better.

It’s self focused to think I know how the pain I have encountered compares to what others have been faced with. Every life is a unique experience and how a person reacts to difficulty is individually distinctive. As different as each life is, one thing is certain: pain hurts and everyone gets their share. The painful experiences are the boldest teachers about living if one is paying attention and accepting of the lessons.

Pain is a pesky part of being human.

I’ve learned it feels like a stab wound to the heart,
something I wish we could all do without, in our lives here.

Pain is a sudden hurt that can’t be escaped.

But then I have also learned that because of pain,
I can feel the beauty, tenderness, and freedom of healing.

Pain feels like a fast stab wound to the heart.

But then healing feels like the wind against your face
when you are spreading your wings and flying through the air!

We may not have wings growing out of our backs,
but healing is the closest thing
that will give us that wind against our faces.
C. JoyBell C.

Learning to appreciate emotional turmoil was a giant step forward, for it is one of my life’s most profound teachers. C.S. Lewis wrote, “Pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our consciences, but shouts in our pains. It is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world.” And so it was with me.

When the pain to stay the same exceeded the pain to change, I changed. Recognizing the teachings of pain was a breakthrough toward happiness. I will always remember the month and year: October, 2007. It was then I gratefully began to grasp that happiness does not teach about being happy; pain does. It is the painful parts of living that are the key to cultivate, know and appreciate peace and contentment.  I am grateful to know happiness is impossible without anguish, sorrow and grief plowing the ground for it to grow in.

It’s so hard to forget pain,
but it’s even harder to remember sweetness.
We have no scar to show for happiness.
We learn so little from peace.
Chuck Palahnuik