There’s the little empty pain of leaving something behind – graduating, taking the next step forward, walking out of something familiar and safe into the unknown. There’s the big, whirling pain of life upending all of your plans and expectations. There’s the sharp little pains of failure, and the more obscure aches of successes that didn’t give you what you thought they would. There are the vicious, stabbing pains of hopes being torn up. The sweet little pains of finding others, giving them your love, and taking joy in their life as they grow and learn. There’s the steady pain of empathy that you shrug off so you can stand beside a wounded friend and help them bear their burdens.
And if you’re very, very lucky, there are a very few blazing hot little pains you feel when you realized that you are standing in a moment of utter perfection, an instant of triumph, or happiness, or mirth which at the same time cannot possibly last – and yet will remain with you for life.
Pain is a part of life. Sometimes it’s a big part, and sometimes it isn’t, but either way, it’s a part of the big puzzle, the deep music, the great game. Pain does two things: It teaches you, tells you that you’re alive. Then it passes away and leaves you changed. It leaves you wiser, sometimes. Sometimes it leaves you stronger. Either way, pain leaves its mark, and everything important that will ever happen to you in life is going to involve it in one degree or another. Jim Butcher
I regret the times I damned my pain or prayed for it to be gone. At that moment I did not realize I was being sculpted by discomfort into a better and wiser man. In hindsight that sort of growth reminds me of being an adolescent boy when I woke with my legs hurting so much from growing overnight that they could barely support me. But once I walked for a few minutes, the aches subsided quickly. I was simply growing.
And so I have gratefully begun to better accept the outcome of pain, although the bearing of it will never be something positively anticipated. It is through allowing grief, sorry and anguish to do their work that I become wiser and through that wisdom, grow more content.
We never know when our last day on earth will be.
So, love with full sincerity, believe with true faith,
and hope with all of your might.
Better to have lived in truth and discovered life,
than to have lived half heartedly
and died long before you ever ceased breathing.