Breaking the Shell


Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding…

It is so easy to get caught up in the “woe is me” of life. Here on Earth we all face struggles and as the days fade in and out so do they. Pain can come to us wearing many different faces and I have met just about all of them. One thing I know is that pain changes you.

Even as the stone of the fruit must break, that its heart may stand in the sun, so must you know pain…

I think I have suffered more than my share of pain in this lifetime and I know that there is more to come. Emotional, physical, psychological, spiritual, and mental pain have all visited me at one time or another. I am not talking about the fight you had with your sister over cleaning your mom’s house. I am talking about the pain that comes like an unwitting visitor and takes up residence in your life. The take no prisoners kind of pain. This is the pain that comes to test you right down to your core and shake your roots and everything that you may think you know about life.

And could you keep your heart in wonder at the daily miracles of your life, your pain would not seem less wondrous than your joy; 

This pain my dear ones is for your growth and sometimes growth hurts like hell. It makes me think back to having braces. My mouth being too small to fit my adult teeth needed to have 5 teeth pulled. With the magic of some metal and wire they slowly shifted my teeth around my mouth to make a perfect smile. Now that I have the beautiful teeth I am so glad that I suffered through all of the pain, but during it I tell you I was not happy. I didn’t want them on, but my parents kept telling me it would be worth it. They were right.

Much of your pain is self-chosen. 
It is the bitter potion by which the physician within you heals your sick self…  

I do believe that some of our pain is self chosen even if we don’t fully realize it at the time. I read a quote the other day that said, “Remember the last time you confused a life lesson for a soul mate?” A perfect example of my marriage. Well I loved that man and I suffered for it. A lot. I learned my lesson though, but oh how I wish that I had been able to learn it in an easier way. Could I have? Probably. If I had been raised in another way perhaps I would have not felt the need to save someone else. I would not have recognized that pain as a comfortable “knowing” between the two of us that caused me to mistake him as a soul mate. Yes, I felt that because he had suffered he could understand me. THAT was one of the biggest lessons of my life. It certainly was the messiest to clean up. Perhaps he was a soul mate in the end. Our soul mates do not come into our lives to give us peace but to challenge us and in the end he certainly did this.

Therefore trust the physician, and drink his remedy in silence and tranquillity: For his hand, though heavy and hard, is guided by the tender hand of the Unseen…

Recently, I have been dealt a back injury. It has completely taken me down, and during the season of the year that I love frolicking outside the most. I cannot walk without pain and I cannot do the things that I want (surf). I know this is temporary and I can soldier through it (now without drugs because I think the pain is a lesser evil than the drugs). Physical pain is a relative thing and everyone experiences it differently. I like to think that I am not a sissy, however intense pain over an extended time changes you. I know that I am being dealt a lesson or two here and my mind is wide open to it all. I want to learn my lessons and the sooner the better. I want to get it right this time around. The first lesson that I am learning is empathy on a deeper level for those that live in chronic and debilitating physical pain. Another is learning to love and honor myself in all ways. My body has always been strong and healthy for the most part. So I am incredibly grateful for the new insight that this pain is giving me on a whole other level. It doesn’t matter if it “looks perfect”, what matters is that it is healthy and works. This is teaching me patience and compassion on a whole new level. It’s not like I haven’t dealt with pain either. It’s just that here in my life where I am today I am learning this lesson from a different perspective. That is life. We live. We learn. We grow. We move on. 

And the cup he brings, though it burn your lips, has been fashioned of the clay which the Potter has moistened with His own sacred tears.

– Kahlil Gibran

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