Growing up is all about getting hurt…and then getting over it. You hurt. You recover. You move on. Odds are pretty good you’re going to get hurt again. But each time, you learn something. Each time, you come out of it a little stronger, and at some point you realize that there are more flavors of pain than coffee. There’s the little empty pain of leaving something behind graduating, taking the next step forward, walking out of something familiar and safe into the unknown. There’s the big, whirling pain of life upending all of your plans and expectations. There’s the sharp little pain of failure, and the more obscure aches of successes that didn’t give you what you thought they would. There’s the vicious, stabbing pain of hopes being torn up. The sweet little pain of finding others, giving them your love, and taking joy in their life as they grow and learn. There’s the steady pain of empathy that you shrug off so you can stand beside a wounded friend and help them bear their burdens. And if you’re very, very lucky, there are a few blazing hot little pains you feel when you realize that you are standing in a moment of utter perfection, an instant of triumph, or happiness, which at the same time cannot possibly last and yet will remain with you for life. I believe that life is about embracing pain.
Everyone is down on pain-they forget that pain is for the living: the dead don’t feel it. Pain is a part of life. Sometimes it’s a big part, and sometimes it isn’t, but either way, it’s part of the big puzzle. Pain teaches you and tells you that you’re alive. Then it passes away and leaves you changed. It leaves you wiser, sometimes. Sometimes it leaves you stronger. Either way, pain leaves its mark, and everything important that will ever happen to you in life is going to involve it in one degree or another.
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