Sitting in pain. That’s a phrase I hear often. I see people doing it, sitting in pain.

Sometimes you can look into a person’s face and see it. Pain takes many forms. It’s good at masking itself, staying hidden, but it leaks out too. It’ll snatch the face you were trying hard to hold. Pain will break the exterior guarded smoothness of your made-up self. Pain has a way of having its way.

I think what honors pain–and I do think that pain like other feelings should be honored, respected–is giving it due room. When it comes, you can’t make it go away. You can’t force pain to leave. Even drugs numb the senses rather than remove the pain itself. No, pain needs space. Pain that’s respected is pain that’s given space.

Clear the field of your soul. And if you see pain rising in that field, give it the whole place. Sit with that pain. It may take over, hijacking your life for a while. It may feel scary, burdening you with new fear. It may be suffocating, taking the breath and life out of you. But pain, after its done, will pass. Then, you’ll see what’s next.

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