On shadows: What pain feels like
On shadows: What pain feels like

On shadows: What pain feels like

I’m writing about pain because today was a tough day, so I might as well go all the way.

Writing about love, light, purpose, path – that shit is easy and it always feels like it writes itself. On the opposite side of the spectrum, pain in any form or manner is far from eloquent. Pain steals your words away, demanding you to feel, feel, feel. Without meaning to, it steals you away from the present – it’s just too big and ungraceful that it can’t help but overpower every single moment. Pain is like a kid who doesn’t know his own strength.

As I write this, I recognize that the light in me is still and always fighting valiantly. Otherwise, I wouldn’t even be brave enough to own this time and write about it. This is something I am so eternally grateful for, the strength to ungracefully cling to light with a fury.

Because pain feels like drowning

There’s a fear that you’ll keep on falling, and the more the light fades from your vision it seems to be a certainty. There’s a fear that even if you do rise up, it will be too late. There won’t be enough time to break the surface. There isn’t enough air to breathe. It’s suffocating.

Pain is suffocating.

This I’ve actually experienced and the fear here, it grows and grows. I’m suffocating with embarrassment right now, writing about this in a public place while the people around me are struggling, and living productive lives. It’s hot pink neon embarrassment

Pain is like accidentally peeing in your pants and not being able to do anything about it and knowing everyone else knows and it’s freaking embarrassing. This I haven’t experienced yet but just writing those words down make my insides twist. It’s embarrassing to feel loneliness, especially since so much can be done about it. It’s embarrassing to feel defeat every day, especially when you know you’ve won this game before. It’s embarrassing to fall short of your own expectations of strength. On some days it’s hard to summon the strength to care about anything all, and in the face of all of life’s beauty, that is the ultimate embarrassment. But this happens because… pain makes you forget.

I know I’m never alone, that I am supported and guided all the time, that this is part of the process and it’s more valuable than I know. At the same time, I can see how easy it is to forget all of that. Pain erases and removes. It’s like the shape, shell, and swell of the body is filled with black stinking mud, the kind that no one should ever touch.

That seems to be the opposite of light. It seems that way but… it’s more likely that, pain is just like us, craving the light without a pathway to get there.

400+ words in and I feel like I’ve said what needs to be said – and nothing else. There seems to be no point but pain is a point in itself. It’s in the room with you and it needs to be acknowledged on its own, without the immediate question of, “how do I get rid of it?”

This is me acknowledging pain and how important it is. It doesn’t have to be glorified, it doesn’t have to be dwelled upon, and you definitely don’t need to stay and examine it like art work in a museum. The demand is simple I think: acknowledge me, use me, learn from me.

Tough day?


  1. Alice

    I feel you, beautiful soul. Stay with the pain, knowing that, as in everything else, it too shall pass. There is grace in the gift of vulnerability and in sharing it. It too is Light. We will never know Light unless we have befriended Darkness and Shadow. Namaste.

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