"I was within and without, simultaneously enchanted and repelled by the inexhaustible variety of life." ~ F. Scott Fitzgerald
"at times, we sit there stone drunk and alone. aching for intimacy; not of the physical nature, but for someone to listen to what drives our hearts a little more mad each day." ~ e. corona
It’s easy to cast your glance upon the life of another and say that they should let go of that which is hurting them. After all, we find innumerable ways to hurt ourselves, alcohol, drugs, relationships, risk seeking behavior, self deprecation, isolation, the list goes on. When people express this it makes me wonder if they have ever known hurt so great that it becomes hard to imagine a life without him. I wonder if he has darkened their doorway so frequently that they hold a seat by the warmth of the fire and prepare an extra cup of tea. I have a curiosity. An endless desire to understand.
Have they befriended their hurt? Do they know what that’s like, to await his arrival like that of an old and dear friend. To share your soul with another and to bare to him all your secrets.
I wonder, do they know?
"It's not always the fear of losing them that scares us it's that we have given them so many of our pieces that we fear losing parts of us when they are gone." ~ Atticus
I have shared many a cup of tea with hurt, by the warmth of theflickering fire. I’m wearing shorts, long socks and my favorite old T-shirt. He rubs my feet and pets my hair, he comforts me. He desires nothing more than my company and robs me of little else, other than joy.
He is not like pain. Pain, she pulls the carpet out from underneath me. She rips up the floorboards and unearths the bodies I have laid there. She is violent, she is sweeping, she empties me. She leaves me broken. She makes me fall to my knees, often begging. No, hurt, he is not like pain. Unlike Pain, he does not wildly ravage me before leaving notes, promising “next time I’ll bring chocolate.”
Hurt, when I keep him close to me, sweetlytickles my arms with the gentle caress of his fingertips. He sits with me. Warm. He fills me. I am overcome with his pleasantness and familiarity. Who will I be if this hurt ever leaves me? What will be left of me? He consumes me.
“And a woman spoke, saying, "Tell us of Pain." And he said: Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding. Even as the stone of the fruit must break, that its heart may stand in the sun, so must you know pain. 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; And you would accept the seasons of your heart, even as you have always accepted the seasons that pass over your fields. And you would watch with serenity through the winters of your grief. Much of your pain is self-chosen. It is the bitter potion by which the physician within you heals your sick self. 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, 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
Goodbyes are hard, even when it comes to hurt. You see, it can be easy to condemn the life of another, to cast your eyes upon their soul with judgment. This is easy. So, to those who have chosen easy, to you I say, you have never made friends with hurt, you haven’t sat with him as the wood burned in the warm haze of the midnight fire. It is either this, that you have not befriended him or that you have locked him so far down that you have forgotten that there is a wood-burning stove that you’ve tried to sell for scrap in your basement, where he sits, warm, in a blanket, with an extra cup of tea, waiting for you. Tell me. Have you made friends with your hurt? Does your heart drip blood at the thought of him leaving you?
Are you even aware of his presence in your life, or have you carefully chosen to deny his existence?
Tell me. I have a curiosity. I will hear you, I will listen. Tell me.
“To hurt is as human as to breathe.” ~ J.K. Rowling, The Tales of Beedle the Bard
When hurt leaves, pain comes to visit. She is far less pleasant, she is violent and merciless. Yet. Soft and surgical with her precision. You swear she’s wrong and there are things you were meant to hold onto. She assures you that she is not and that you have a choice to hold onto something, either nothing, or her. She will stay with you. She will you lay down on the center of a fur rug. She will wipe your soul clean of everything you ever thought you were afraid of. She is a nightmare in a dream. She will leave you broken. Crying. Begging. With nothing left but scattered rose petals and the gentle scent of the night blossoming jasmine.
You see, that’s why they hold onto hurt. When he has become your only friend to comfort you, to understand you, to hear all your secrets without judgment or condemnation, without taking them or claiming them or cleaning them. Sometimes this is the closest you’ve ever felt to love. And. That. Is a hard thing to give up.
“Do you know the feeling, when your heart is so hurt, that you could feel the blood dripping?” ~ Lady Gaga
It goes against our every instinct to willingly be broken, to cast out hurt — your warm and trusted friend. To open your door for pain as she robs you of the identity you thought to which you had laid claim. To surrender to her sweeping winds and ripping claws, to open your door to all that comes after she leaves you. empty.
We fear emptiness far more than we could ever fear hurt or pain. When you have known hurt so long that he brings you comfort. and. when you have closed your door to the emptiness of pain, she waits. For hurt will not leave you until you cast him from the hearth. Where pain lurks and simmers just outside your door. We must willingly abandon our hurt. and. succumb to the incredible and overwhelming pain that will often times make you wish you were dead, but never lonely. only to be left by her. pain. for pain answers to know one. She will leave you just when you thought she was getting comfortable. She will leave you. Empty and alone. Until you discover who you were truly meant to be, all along.
"The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek." ~ Joseph Campbell
It’s easy to cast your glance upon the life of another and say that they should let go of that which is hurting them. We find innumerable ways to hurt ourselves so that we can avoid the inevitable violence of pain once we cast out hurt, and the emptiness that inevitably follows pains abandon.
It goes against our every instinct to cast out that which has been bringing us comfort and distracting us from our emptiness. It defies our very nature to welcome pain, to give her safe passage into our hearts and offer her refuge, to let her empty us of all that, which we thought we once were. To burn us clean like the needle in the fire.
“Abandon all hope, ye who enter here.” For you will pass through the pits of hell to find yourself on the other side.
This living is rarely easy, but it is always worth it.
The Thing Is "to love life, to love it even when you have no stomach for it and everything you’ve held dear crumbles like burnt paper in your hands, your throat filled with the silt of it. When grief sits with you, its tropical heat thickening the air, heavy as water more fit for gills than lungs; when grief weights you like your own flesh only more of it, an obesity of grief, you think, How can a body withstand this? Then you hold life like a face between your palms, a plain face, no charming smile, no violet eyes, and you say, yes, I will take you I will love you, again." ~ Ellen Bass
You are brave. You are strong. You are human.
So long as you have breath in your lungs you are unstoppable.
I know they hurt you. I know you feel lost. I hear you. I see you. I feel the heaviness in the ache of your faintly beating heart. Breathe. Come with me. I will stand with you as you cast hurt from the amber glow of the burning fire. I will lay beside you, in the center of the rug as pain strips you of your identity. I will wait with you, no matter how shallow your breathing becomes. I will guide you through the wailing of your suffering to release. I will wait with you, until pain has swept your house clean. I will stay with you until the shadows have done their dancing and you are left, broken. I will stay, until something more comes. Breathe. I am here.
Tell me. I have a genuine curiosity.
Do you know what it’s like to befriend your hurt? Does he rub your feet by the warmth of the fire?