When it hurts

“I have learned now that while those who speak about one’s miseries usually hurt, those who keep silence hurt more.”
~ C.S. Lewis

Emotional pain hurts. It’s a dull ache, a tight knot, a throbbing that no pill can ease. It takes the joy out of life and makes it hard to believe there is a way through it. It’s horrible. So horrible that all you want to do is to numb it or distract from it. Reach for the wine or the chocolate or clean the house or run. But there is no escaping it as it still hurts.

Then we hurt ourselves more by berating how we feel. “I shouldn’t be feeling like this”, “other people have worse problems”, “I should be able to shake it off”. We feel ashamed of hurting. So we try to hide it from those closest to us. Putting on the “face to meet the faces that you meet” (T.S. Eliot) Updating Facebook or Twitter with a nonsense post and feeling more lonely and isolated when the shallow responses come back. Desperately hoping that someone will notice and see that we are hurting. Desperately wanting to be seen.

The hardest thing in the world to do is to sit with it. To accept the pain and allow it to flow through. As that is what it needs to do, flow through. If we avoid or distract it we don’t give it the space it needs. Sitting with it means surrendering to the hurt and saying to it, what do you need? It means allowing the tears to flow unrestricted until they can’t flow any more. If we give our hurt and pain gentle caring attention it can heal.

Today, like every other day, we wake up empty
and frightened. Don’t open the door to the study
and begin reading. Take down a musical instrument.

Let the beauty we love be what we do.
There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground.


Picture by: Claire Sambrook