Emotions and feelings, whether good (like joy) or bad (like sorrow), can be shared. In fact, in there lies the power of emotions. Good emotions, when shared, are multiplied. Bad emotions, when shared, are divided.
Pain is not for sharing. No one can ever know the pain another person is going through. One might “feel” the pain of another but the pain itself is never shared. It remains highly personal and unique to the person going through it. After my recent bout with severe pain, I am now less ready to say to another “Let me share your pain.” No other statement could be more presumptuous, even if the intention to commiserate is sincere.
Pain is an essential component of life. There is pain at birth, the beginning of life. There will be pain at death, the end of life. There is pain in between the beginning and the end. Some pain is necessary, like the pain of a mother at childbirth or the pain of an operation to heal the body. Some pain is unnecessary and uncalled for, like the sufferings brought about by war and man’s inhumanity to man. Some pain comes with nature, like the pain of famine when crops fail or the pain of destruction when natural calamities strike.
Again, after my recent experience of excruciating pain, I am wary of using prayer as an antidote for pain. Prayers will not take the pain away, much as we would want to. Christ prayed in the garden for His agony to pass away. But it did not. I prayed for my pain to go away but it did not either. i will be careful from now on in offering my prayers for someone in pain.
Life unfolds through pain and pleasure. I have been gifted with life and I cannot choose only the good parts. The bad parts are as essential as the good ones. I also have everything I need to live my life with gratitude as I go through the good times and with fortitude as I go through the bad times.
Therefore, I pray not for pain to go away but for me to survive and go through it victoriously. What does not destroy me will make me stronger. I pray not for pain to be absent in my life for for me to be strong and courageous to go through the pain triumphantly to bring me to the next level of my journey.
I still fear pain but I shall befriend him and get to know him better. The next time around I will know what and how to do better.