March 10, 2016

What to Do with Our Pain. {Poem}

Zack Minor/ Unsplash

What do we do with our pain—our heartbreak, our self-doubt, our fear, our anger, our jealousy, our agony?

What do we do with the stinging tears, sharp betrayals, hanging resentments and fluttering insecurities?

Life is rough, tough and cruel—just as brutally bitter as it is breathtakingly beautiful.

Our hearts can get bruised and banged up on this perilous, gorgeous journey.

So, what do we do with our pain?

Do we ignore it—throw it away, stuff it under a pretty smile or bury it under the sea?

Do we flee from it, ‘til it bubbles up like a volcano and knocks us off our feet?


What do we do with our pain?

There is only one thing to do with our pain, and it is the most powerful choice we could ever make—

We have to face it.

To look at it—to not turn away.


What do we do with our pain?

We breathe into it.

We feel it.

We let it drip into our raw hearts, like honey.

We breathe into it—we feel it.

We relax into the gritty mud of suffering, unfolding like a lotus flower in the sea.

We let each ping of discomfort open us, like a key—

We breathe into it—we feel it.

And sh*t, we feel like we’re going to die—

We sob and we scream,

Tears rain down our chins violently.

But we don’t die,

Oh no—

We become more vibrantly alive.

We become impossibly beautiful.

We become raw, deliciously soft—tender inside.

Because our pain is everyone’s pain,

We all share the same sh*tty suffering, though we too often forget it.

Because to open our heart to ourselves,

Even for the tiniest moment,

Is to open our heart to life.

It is to kiss the universe.

Pain is not a curse, not a burden, not a disaster—it’s a blessing.

Hold it lightly, it’s the sacred vine that sews us together,

It’s the sweet ripening flowers of connection and compassion.

Because our pain is everyone’s pain.

Our tears are everyone’s tears, our fear is everyone’s fear, our grief is everyone’s grief.

So let us not turn away from discomfort, it is a succulent flavor of this life,

Let us turn gently inward instead.

Because when we open our hearts to ourselves—

When we stay in the juicy, crashing center of unpleasantness

For even the tiniest moment,

We breathe radical gentleness into life.

We kiss the universe.

We pour love into the world.

We make magic from our tears.

So—let us stop running away,

Turning away when life gets tough.

Let us soften, let us look our suffering right in its face

And feel it—and breathe.

Let us be there for our own hearts.

Let us become fantastic, gentle warriors

Of soul.


Author: Sarah Harvey

Editor: Yoli Ramazzina

Photo: Zack Minor/ Unsplash


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