"Everyone is down on
pain, because they forget something important about it.
Pain is for the living.
Only the dead don’t feel it. Pain is a part of life.
Sometimes it’s a big part,
sometimes it isn’t, but either way, it’s part of the big puzzle, the deep
music, the great game.
Pain does two things: it teaches you; tells you that
Then it passes away and leaves you changed.
Sometimes it leaves
you stronger. Either way, pain leaves its mark, and everything important that
will ever happen to you is going to involve it in one degree or another."
He has a point. Pain is often a necessary part of growing up. And living. No one goes through life without pain.
Disappointments or sorrows so keen they feel like actual physical pain. The painful tightening of the chest with grief, the tensing of the muscles when holding back tears or anger, you all know these feelings I'm sure. They can be hard to bear, since there is no specific time limit, we don't know how long it will take before we begin to feel better. Physical pain from illness or accident can be easier to manage as you know it will pass, a cut will heal, a broken leg will mend.
But what of those who are numb to pain? Their brains so deadened they no longer feel emotions? Shuffling through life like zombies, empty eyes, empty faces, barely responding to others. Not physically dead, yet their souls are dead, or so close to it. How does pain benefit a person who can't feel it? These are the saddest people of all, because they can't be helped.
Think about it.
You see a person in pain, physical pain, and you rush to help. You offer water, bandaids, an ambulance perhaps. You've helped and this physical pain will soon pass. A person in emotional pain may need someone to listen, not necessarily to offer advice, but just be there to take some of the weight of the grief or anger or despair. A shoulder to cry on with bottomless boxes of tissues to mop up those tears, a cup of tea, a warm hug. Helping people in this manner makes us feel better about ourselves and can even alleviate some of our own pain if we have been feeling similar emotions to those we see in the people we are helping.
Pain shared is pain halved, as the saying goes.
But how do you help someone who is so far gone they no longer feel? are no longer able to reach out? Those who can't say "hold me", those who can't phone a friend or a lifeline? Someone who doesn't even realise that help is available if only they knew how to ask or even that they should ask? What can we do when seeing these people causes us to feel the pain of being unable to help in any way? Some might say "pray for them", but praying only helps us, because we've done something or tried to, but it does not help those so emotionally wounded they are beyond help.