Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Pain or No Pain

Life. It is a journey of experiences. So many are pleasant and pass without notice. Some are so wonderful they mark our memories and are savored for years. And, without fail, each of us will encounter painful experiences. 

In the height of our most painful experiences, we are reduced to our most primal selves seeking desperately for a way to make the pain go away. In today's world that is often possible. It isn't always, but for so many pains that we as humans suffer, there is now a pill or a drug or a distraction to take the pain away. How wonderful that we are spared so much pain through modern medicine.  

Still, life is far from pain free. So often we distract ourselves from realities that hurt. It is a good coping mechanism. One I have relied on heavily. But where would we be in this life if we could really rid ourselves of all pain?

I have a deeper understanding and appreciation for the lows of life than I did a year ago. A year ago I thought the law of "opposition" in all things was all about being able to better appreciate the sweet things in this life. Certainly bad experiences do help us appreciate good ones. But I have found so much more value in being acquainted with grief. 

It is our painful experiences that tie us to humanity and connect us on deeper levels. Painful experiences can tenderize the soul and soften our hearts. They can expand the chambers of our heart to experience greater love and empathy.

Painful experiences give us opportunities for growth. Though we would that they should pass and in their height we would do anything to make them go away, they can be spiritual fertilizer. They stink and are unpleasant but they help us grow. 

Last night as I said my nightly prayers, my heart felt heavy. I let myself feel the pain that is ever running in the current of my inner soul. And in the depths of it I felt surrounded by the love of the Savior. I felt a closeness to Him unlike anything words can describe. I know He walks with us, and even carries us, though our painful experiences. Though we would rush through them, it is in these experiences we are closest to Him and through these that we can come to "know" Him.

I am so grateful to know in a new way today that I am really not alone in any pain I feel. Those pains I feel in this life tie me to Him. And I am grateful for those ties that bind.

7 comments:

chanel said...

hang in there.
you gave me a beautiful image of the Savior holding you as you prayed. He really must be so incredibly proud of you for knowing & trusting him so completely.

Becky said...

You are an incredible writer. I really appreciate how you put your feelings into words. Thank you so much for sharing. It is always nice to hear others say it is alright to feel pain. It is alright to live it and feel.

The Cricket on the Hearth said...

Stephanie... what can I say? You express yourself so well. Thank you.

Lisa said...

Your words are powerful. Thank you.

Mimi's Toes said...

So beautifully said! I love your writings.

ELIZABETH said...

I can remember so clearly four years ago holding my brand new baby girl and crying. My heart hurt so much for the one I had lost a year and a half earlier. I mean it literally hurt. I was so angry at myself for crying and hurting for the one that had died, when I felt like I should have been grateful and so appreciative of the beautiful, healthy girl I now held in my arms. With time, I realized it was possible to feel both of those things, and that is was "okay" to feel those things. Thru your blog I see now how "normal" I was. At the time I felt very alone, and I was unable to find other mothers that I felt could really relate to me. Blogging has become such a blessing! Thank you so much for sharing your life, your feelings, and your experiences with me (with us all). Even after all these years your blog is still so helpful to me. Thank you!

Morg.Jess.Audrey said...

Thank you so much for your testimony about how difficult circumstances bring us closer to our Savior. It's a reminder I needed to hear this week.