Our relationship to pain– how we react and respond to it– changes everything.
This idea ruminated in my mind from the moment I saw it. My thoughts latched onto this because I don’t have a healthy relationship to pain. I avoid it at all costs until I come into contact with it. Once agony and I collide, I can’t let go. My stubborn perseverance encourages me that there’s some prize for enduring the most pain. It’s a fool’s prize– the one given to marginalized people as an incentive for their silence.
But pain is a cat burglar. Denying it entry only motivates it to break a window, infiltrate a vent, wind itself inside a hiding place just long enough to jump out and scare you when you’ve convinced yourself pain is long gone.
What if I were open to aching? What if I acknowledged the thief as it entered? These aren’t solutions. Then again, these days, I’m no longer in search of the answers. I just want to ask better questions. We weld questions so complicated that the simplest answers become out of reach.
For now, all I can do is become a doorway and witness to my own discomfort. I seize my right to arrest my pain by acknowledging and addressing it. I’ve spent too long being a bystander in my own suffering.