The Joy of Pain

“One day you will look back and see how easy it would have been if you had not decided to make it so hard.” ~Unknown

I am one of those people that made my life hard. I did this because I knew no other way. It was so a part of my conditioning to experience pain that you could have told me the way to do things more easily and I would have looked at you like a statue. People DID try to tell me that I was making things hard on myself and I couldn’t hear.

It was only when I had run that road of pain long enough that I began to let down my guard, allow myself to loosen my grip of the reigns of control and say, “I don’t know how to live in Joy.” Even then, it took some time for me to trust Joy, to trust that I could even make the choice for Joy.

Once I learned that I could make that choice, I still needed to check back every once in a while to be sure I could still feel the pain. Pain had been the one consistent thing in my life. It was my friend. It was always there when I felt I had nothing else. It had never abandoned me and I felt a certain guilt as I felt I was abandoning it.

I will always love my Pain for the lessons, the poems and the wild shit I did when I had a death wish. There are things that I have done that I never would have done if I hadn’t lived with a pain so strong I constantly lived on the edge of a death wish.

I said to a friend one day, “Some of my most treasured experiences have been most enjoyed in hindsight.” In the moment they were happening, oh yes, it was drama, it was gut wrenching, it was sometimes just down right dangerous to my very life. However, in hindsight I can laugh at the silliness of it all, be grateful that I lived to tell the tale and most importantly, I am not sorry I have that story of folly to tell. It was fun, in hindsight, even if in the moment it was happening I was a hot mess.

“The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain. Is not the cup that hold your wine the very cup that was burned in the potter’s oven?” ~ Khalil Gibran

The gifts I have received through pain are plentiful. I learned some valuable lessons in my days as a pain junkie. I learned compassion for others, even others that have done some heinous stuff. I learned to love others, even others that had done heinous stuff to me. I learned exactly what NOT to do if you want to live a joyous life. I learned about the kind of woman I wanted to be and I learned about the kinds of people I need to surround myself with in order to nourish that woman. I learned what my needs are and I learned that those needs are worthy of my attention. I learned that only I am responsible for getting those needs met.

Oh, there is soooo much more that I learned through pain. So much more.

Pain created a huge space in my being to hold joy. It carved a space in me so deep that when I finally was willing to choose joy, joy had a HUGE place in me to live. I am grateful for that too.

So please. Maybe you choose to learn through pain. Maybe you are now making new choices for your life. Rather then feel guilty or stupid for not making a choice for joy sooner, look back at your pain and make a list of the things you learned there that fuel your joy. Let the past fuel your present in a way that allows you inexhaustible fuel for you next steps into a life that is Joyful.

“The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity and an understanding of life that fills them with compassions, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.” ~ Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

Stay tuned…I will be sharing more of how I came out of the waters of pain and into the fire of joy soon :)) Namaste

Girl and Skull photo by Faern Works

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