This is part of a poem I wrote about my own suffering, several years ago. It explores the extra pain we experience from judgement of others for 'weakness' as we struggle to make sense of our emotional responses and our desire to rush our healing, which is natural as suffering is painful. A year ago, today... The weeks have gone: Limped and dissolved With little, simple joys as markers, But, Time has not healed Suffering is still here, Resting and waiting for the 'penny to drop' .... And yet... Pain has: Connected me deeply to others who are also suffering A precious, profound connection that will always be,
Allowing my own hardness and ignorance to melt. I am connected to those who suffer With a new, open, softened heart. Suffering has: Prompted me to practise new bravery - To turn my back on the safe, the known and predictable, Career, status and financial comfort, all gone Traded because the soul called out for space, To live authentically: to live with dignity. Pain walked me away From shameful cruelty From those who 'could' so 'did', From attempts to bully and control, To put down and cast out, From harsh judgments And blind ignorance, From demeaning and humiliating people. Suffering screams loudly: "I am messy! I am embarrassing! I am painful! I can break you too. I can get ugly... Quickly walk on by." Seeing suffering illuminates the hidden soul in others for us..
Thank you to this pain. You Unveiled beautiful, Unconditional compassion A soothing balm Given by a few beautiful friends, Strangers. Made more tender Against others' responses Of judgement, mockery and unexpected abandonment. Precious pain You allowed me to see below my surface To what really is my deepest core The tiny bit of me left When the rest has broken And past Pain gives us these insights It opens up truth. When you are left with nothing Not even who you thought you were, With nothing to give to others, What others give back What is seen in others Is bitter. Is sweet. But at least we know. When you took all of my strength away When there is no control When anything could happen next When even self-belief has vanished I walked in uncertainty. Groundless. At the edge of endurance, Exhausted by consuming anxieties and Over-powering emotions, It felt like you left me, Without even Me Anymore. All that remained When everything was removed, stripped down (and now seems long lost), Is a different reality and a more clear truth. These things are the gifts of my suffering... Of all suffering. These are the gifts of my pain Since this day Last year... By Dionne (adapted)
The gift of my pain was that I realised empty comforts just prolonged illusion. Only passing through the pain, would bring true reality into focus. And then, I'd never be the same; for better and also for worse, until the journey was fully travelled.
I changed: I held value in different things, in helping others to suffer less and shed things and people and beliefs that were not helpful to me, despite the immense loss, I learned that the storm truly runs out of rain. From surviving towards thriving with the growth that comes from passing through hard times.
With love and kindness to all who may be suffering, hurting and in pain and to those who walk with them.