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The Many Faces Of Pain - A Poem Read & Meditation

Updated: Feb 6, 2023

Week 7: Pain Isn't Forever - We Can Get To The Other Side

Physical Pain

Mental Pain and anguish

Emotional Pain and distress

Pain of Grief and Loss

Pain associated with fear/apprehension ...

In writing this post, I am reminded of a time that my niece and nephew were younger and wanted me to join them on their very large trampoline for a few minutes of jumping joy. Because they are my niece and nephew and I love them dearly, I did NOT want to disappoint them so I said yes. I tried to hide my apprehension, my fear of injury, my fear... period.

You see, often times I allow my mind to create a scenario of the worst case. In this particular instance, the moment I realized I would be suspended in mid-air and hoisted higher and higher with each jump, my imagination took over and told me that I would land on the coils or the hard outer shell of the trampoline and injure myself ... or that somehow I'd hit the safety net, brake through it and land on the ground - injuring myself even worse, resulting in being out of work and not making money, which meant difficulty in paying bills. The pain of fear was almost enough to make me not enjoy time with these two fantastic human beings. I let my love for them, and my desire to engage in a fun activity with them help me push past that pain and "just do it" as Nike says.

Thank GOD I made that decision and pushed back the pain of fear! We started bouncing and jumping. I remember seeing the smiles on their faces as their hair suspended in the air with each jump, the laughter that erupted from all three of us as we 'let go' and enjoyed each and every moment. I recall a distinct moment of clarity as I was able to watch myself really "be me". The real me, the me I have lost over the years, who could simply let go and feel joy, feel bliss, and laugh for the sake of laughing. There was no escaping that laughter and joy - jumping on that trampoline just brought it out - no control - just authentic and uncontrolled moments of fun, laughter, and dare I say ... peace. Those two kids had no idea how they helped me move past my pain and remember who I really am - love, joy, peace ... content.

The pain of grief and loss can be just as, if not more crippling than the pain and anguish of fear I described above. Speaking from personal experience, losing someone (or multiple people/pets) we love or were very close to can leave such a gaping open wound on our soul that we just CANNOT see past the next 5 minutes of life. In these moments it is VERY important to :

1) Allow ourselves to cry, wail audibly and loudly - truly FEEL the anguish (emotionally & physically). Where in your body do you feel sensations as you cry/wail? What does it feel like?

2) Remember to breathe into these feelings/emotions as you allow them to "Just happen"

3) Realize that we ARE NOT these feelings/ emotions - that they will ebb and flow with each moment, each day

4) Reach for and hold on gently to small moments of joy, happiness and allow ourselves to feel those emotions/feelings too.

It is OK to acknowledge and give in to joyous moments EVEN when we feel grievously sad. Give yourself this permission.

During days of the many faces of pain, I try to remember that day on the trampoline and the feeling I had that is almost indescribable in words. That feeling/sensation I remember elicits an inner smile, an inner sense of peace that reminds me, that things will somehow turn out ok.

In the video I shared during week five's blog post " A Balanced Life ... Yes Please", I mentioned the thoughts I had while walking that morning. I mentioned all of the puddles I came across and how they can represent different obstacles we are faced with in life. Some obstacles (puddles) are so small we barely notice them, some are bigger and we have to pay attention to them, although we are able to maneuver around them fairly easily. Other obstacles (puddles) are so seemingly big that there is NO getting around them. We have to walk, push, or stomp right through them to get to the other side. My point in sharing that was to remind myself and whomever was watching the video, that no matter how big a puddle/obstacle is, THE OTHER SIDE IS THERE. We can get through it, as messy as it might be. We may even need help getting there, and that is OKAY. It may take longer to get there, but SO WHAT? It takes as long as it takes. There IS an end to every obstacle/puddle. We just need to remind ourselves that it's there and that we will be OKAY in the end.

If you have a memory of a time that made you smile, laugh, or even cry from love, fun, joy, anything positive ... I implore you to pull up that memory or pieces of it. Close your eyes, bring yourself back to that moment, and internalize a sensation or feeling from that time. If you don't have such a memory, maybe try creating one or imagine yourself doing something or being somewhere that you know would elicit those feelings. On the days, or during the moments of the many faces of pain, bring yourself back to that memory/imagination, feel that feeling and tell yourself - It will be Ok, I'm Ok, I will make it through to the other side of this darned puddle ... Because you will.

Through the pain and suffering, when we allow it, we will realize our resiliency

Through different aspects of pain comes growth and fortitude

Through grief comes a deeper love and affection, a profound appreciation

Below you will find a brief meditation and reading of a very moving poem by Katy A. Brown called "Pain Ends".

For the written version of this poem, you can find it here:

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