A woman I have not actually met wrote to me recently in regard to one of my posts that dealt with my physical pain. It’s not easy to live with pain of any kind but it does help to talk about it, as I did in that post, and to get feed-back from others who understand. The pain is miraculously lessened when we do this even if we have different kinds of conditions. The “shared experience” simply makes whatever we are undergoing more tolerable. It’s not that misery loves company but rather, just knowing that someone else cares and is “holding us up” toward a place free of pain makes all the difference. That’s what her note did for me.
We do so much for one another’s humanity when we listen if the call comes to us. And the call can come in many forms. Being a witness to one another’s journey is the finest gift we can offer, bar none. Lest I be misunderstood, the pain need not be physical for us to serve as “healers” of sorts. Being present to the presence of others is the healing balm. We all need the balm, if not today we may need it tomorrow. Give it away when possible and it will come back to you when needed.
Many of us grew up in an era when you didn’t let others know about your pain, particularly if it was mental or emotional. But suffering in silence exaggerates the pain. This is still a common response for much of the population; however, many who share my recovery journey have learned the value of allowing others to know, thus to share the pain that lives in the interior spaces of our lives. And what we have learned is that the pain recedes just a bit every time we let some one else’s heart touch ours.
It’s really not so difficult to let others come into our private world but a decision first has to be made. Do we truly want a lessening of the pain that’s hindering our lives? Saying yes may change every thing about our experiences and we may not be fully prepared for this. It’s wise to consider this carefully. The pain may be physical or emotional. It matters not. If we are in pain, it will dominate us if we let it. But we do have the capacity to change how it affects us. That’s the incredible gift we are being given every day. The choice is ours.
I know that talking with others about the pain I have experienced over the decades of my life, pain that has been physical as well as emotional, has allowed me to see that when we name something, we reduce its grip on us. Consider what you need to talk about, what you need to “name,” and ask a friend or even a stranger for a minute of her time. Experience the freedom that I promise awaits you.
Filed Under: Karen's Musings