Look Your Pain In The Eyes

You’ve been running for a while now, but do you remember how to slow down? Can you rest your breath and halt your stride and turn around, even if it’s at a snail’s pace? As scary as it may be, can you look your pain in the eye? 

Can you face the pain straight on? The haunting memories, the creature who stalks you in the night, the Cancer, and the aching heart and knees. The ugly behavior and atrocious acts. The worst of you, but is it? The nasty parts, but is it? The failures, but is it?

Are you not utterly exhausted from the sprinting and maneuvers in the night? All the dodging and ducking to escape the pain at all costs?

Rest your bones and your blood. Pull your hair back, clear your eyes and sit with your pain, including all the pain you give away and consume. Look it in the eye. Peer through the windows and into the depths of it. Grab yourself a blanket, wrap yourself warm, and sit across from it, knee to knee.

  • The stuff that shows up unannounced.
  • The dull ache that keeps you awake.
  • The thing you swear you gobbled up whole years ago, but now has bubbled up again like acid.

Believe it or not, there is no need to puff your chest or raise your voice. Simply soften your eyes and breath and mix in some curiosity. Then, scan it slowly. Be sure to notice all its parts including all its cells as they expand and contract. Then, observe the way it moves, breathes, and communicates. 

Yes, look your pain in the eye. 

Look at the broken glass and bloody mess,

and stagnant years stuck on the couch, curtains closed.

Look at it:

The emptiness. 

The shattered dreams

The missing persons and

The all too loud part you want to silence.

(but what if you heard it out?)

And the part you want to pound into a million pieces to sweep under the rug with the dust.

(but what if you held it (whole), rocking it sweet and singing it a lullaby?)

And yes, even the part you want to snuff. 

(but what if you gave it oxygen and room to breathe?)

And what if you asked it what it needs?

Or what if it wrote down for you the message it came to deliver?

And what if you read it aloud?

Letting the words float into the air, watching them evaporate into vapor that turns into clouds that rain overhead rinsing you clean, helping you to feel fresh again.

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