Pain. It sucks


We have all experienced pain.

If you haven’t…just stay in the boat a while and you will. It is common to the human condition. Things hurt us…people hurt us; it’s how our heart is wired. Most of us would rather not be wired that way, but then we would be less than human and I’m not sure we really want that. I think perhaps in order to be able to experience the great joys and pleasures of life, we have to take the back side of that deal; and that is called pain. It sucks.

The thing about pain is that it seems to be tied to our expectations. The greater the expectation, the greater the potential for disappointment or hurt. Consider a man who’s date stands him up for coffee after he has only recently met her. He would be hurt, or confused; and rightfully so. But fast forward a few months, and that girl leaves him standing at the alter with a note that says she doesn’t think she really loves him…that is a shattering kind of pain. His expectation was much bigger.

The more we expect of someone, the more they can hurt us. And there is no way around it. One way to shield yourself from potential pain is to avoid relationships of any kind. Isolate yourself. Some people do that. I’ve tried it at times in my life. But it’s simply not a good way to live. When we shut ourselves off from potential hurt in a relationship, then we also eliminate the potential for the great joys and pleasures a relationship can bring. And that is not a good trade. Life is too short. We have to live. We have to love. We have to open up to people; to share ourselves with them. We have to.

But they will hurt me. Yes. They will. And you will hurt some of them. You will. It’s called life. It’s called humanity. I have hurt people, and I have been hurt. Neither one feels good. But no one does it on purpose (unless you are a psychopath)…it’s simply the fallout of broken human beings living in close proximity to one another. Sometimes the pain gets so intense…you do things rational people don’t normally do. And then the pain increases. I’ve known people for whom suicide seemed the only escape from the pain. It was for them, but not those left behind. I’ve seen that side of pain. I’ve done things that have hurt people. The fallout of pain…

Is there a remedy for pain? Is there a medication that brings relief? Is there a prayer that will fix it? I don’t think so. Maybe the symptoms dissipate for a time. I think maybe we can learn to live with it. I have found that having flesh and blood friends to whom I can talk- who don’t try to fix me…who don’t offer words of advice…who don’t judge me…they help me with my pain. And for you- I am very thankful. And also I think living with pain can make us a bit more compassionate toward those around us…maybe not so quick to judge. You are more apt to look at someone who is behaving badly and wonder…what is his source of pain? What is she dealing with?

No, I’m not saying…bring on more pain, it’ll make me a better person. Hell no. Anyone who says things like that simply hasn’t experienced much pain. No, I’m pretty clear on this. Pain sucks. But we can live with it. And we can be the best person we can even through the pain.

At least that’s how I see it tonight. I might think differently tomorrow…someone may hurt me!

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