Monday, August 12, 2013

The ownership of pain

People always talk about "my" pain, as if there were ownership of pain. As if one pain were more important than another. We create a strange kind of competition, where we examine our pain in comparison to that of others, where we have to prove somehow that "my" pain is stronger than "theirs", or where we decide that "my" pain is not as important or as serious as people take it to be.  


In this competition of pain, there are no real winners. Everybody loses. Nobody cares anymore. But, pain has no ownership. We all experience it, we all know it, and there is no competition on earth that can evaluate one pain in comparison to another.


 

We can try to kill, destroy, avoid or compare it, but it probably will still be there. If we only could find a way to change our attitude toward it, we might be able to find a different way to experience and deal with the experience of pain.
The presence of pain should be honored: not by being serious and heavy, but by breathing it in and allowing it to simply be, until at some point it transforms itself and becomes a completely different experience of strength, beauty, power, laughter, friendship or warmth.

Having pain is not a personal thing. People who have experienced pain talk about the beauty of sharing it with somebody else: that magical moment when we realize that somebody actually saw we were hurting, that someone saw us fully, that somebody "out there" acknowledged our pain by being there with us in that moment where the pain is. It does not belong to one master and does not need to be owned.
Pain is natural to our being, just as breathing is. The beauty of it is that when it is accepted and wanted, it transforms itself into wishes, friendship, power, and strength and into our real experience of life itself.




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