A former flame uttered the sentence one day, as we were talking about life. She said the sentence while looking away, in the distance, lost in her thoughts. I couldn’t help but look at her. First, she was and still is one of the most gorgeous women I have ever seen. Secondly, as the sentence was marinating in my brain, I looked at her, desperately seeking more information or simply an explanation. Then, I realized there wasn’t any explanation to be had. Within seconds, my eyes got lost in the same direction as hers. I don’t know if we were both hoping to find some other profound wisdom but there wasn’t any, I believe. Her sentence was plain, simple, concise, and grounded in truth.

How many times have we all run away from pain? How many times have we hidden from pain? How many times have we chosen to ignore pain? How many times have we been confused by how and what we felt? How many times have we believed that ignoring the pain will make it go away? I would say more times than we can count. However, here I was, getting yet another lesson from a person that taught me so much during our time together. May the Gods bless her heart!

Ignoring or running away from pain may come from immaturity if I had to guess. Add to that a little pinch of an ingredient called “lack of life experience”. Finally, add a touch of “denial”, you would get the perfect recipe for running away from pain. The mix becomes quite potent and acidic. It will perforate your guts with time. The mix will even mess with your sense of reality.

Let’s be honest, let’s be real; Pain is terrifying. That’s just another fact of life. Pain is hard. Pain simply hurts. Who wouldn’t want to avoid pain? Any normal human being would do anything to dodge and avoid pain. It is only logical. It is part of our survival instinct.

Well, guess what? Some pain is unavoidable. You could run, jump, fly, bury yourself 6 feet under the ground, it wouldn’t matter. You could be in a coma, you could close your ears and your eyes, you could try to distance yourself from the pain, but it will find you. That’s just life. You could call it whatever you want; destiny, fate, God, karma, life, randomness in the universe, etc. In the end, it will not matter. Pain will find you and certain sorts of pain are unavoidable.

If you lose your parents, you cannot avoid the pain and sorrow, nor should you. If you lose your mobility in an accident and you become paraplegic, aside from the physical pain, the psychological pain is unavoidable. If you lose all your earthly possessions, that’s another unavoidable pain. The list could go on for miles. You get my drift, right? I am sure you do.

You must let the pain in. You must accept you are hurting. You must accept reality, no matter how ugly it might be. I am not the most objective person to talk about this because I am a reality junkie myself. I hate lies and masquerades. I hate when people aren’t brutally honest. I hate it when people try to conceal the truth so it wouldn’t hurt as much as it should. I hate it when people try to cushion the blows life throws at me. I don’t like pain; I am not a masochist.

I simply know that at some point in my life, I will have to deal with sorrow and pain. I know I will be sad. I know the pain and sorrow won’t disappear because I want them to; they will linger for as long as they deem necessary, as if they had a personality and a mind of their own. Ain’t that something?

Denying the pain is a strategic mistake. Unprocessed pain is profoundly worse for the mind than unprocessed food is for the body. Walking around as if pain doesn’t exist especially when one is going through something, is simply a fundamental mistake, one that will fuck up your mental state.

Moreover, it is immensely uncomfortable to sit and acknowledge our own pain. Everything around us, from the culture, the traditions to the books and movies, tell us to be strong. Our environment urges us to be bulletproof, to be unbothered by pain. It is impossible. Human beings have feelings. They are as essential to us as breathing is. They are part of us, for better or worse. Furthermore, pain destabilizes everyone, even the strongest of us. Actually, the strongest of us could be the most vulnerable because you only become strong once you have gone through fire. Long exposure to “fire” could very well break the mind and the body. So, let’s be careful.

One must accept pain, not run from it. We can’t run from reality anyway, no one is that fast as to outrun the real world. It will always catch up to you. So, stand there and face the pain. Accept the pain. Cry, scream, curse the Gods, be sad, drink, dance, have meaningless sex, stop shaving, stop talking, sleep long hours, avoid people and parties, don’t pick up your phone, etc. Do whatever it is that you do when you are sad. Pain brings sadness. Accept that sadness.

Whenever a relationship ends, or if someone dies or if something terrible happens, I do my best to face that pain. I cry, scream, go work out, I talk to people or I avoid people. I curse. I sleep long hours. I am sad and I accept it. I look at my pain. I study my sadness. I don’t let it beat me or destroy me. But then again, I guess I haven’t met the kind of pain that breaks a human being. I hope I never have to go through that. During the time I deal with the pain, I will accept things are fucked up and then, I will move on because I must move on.

Nevertheless, I will move on when I am ready. I will only move on when I have dealt with the pain, when I have accepted reality, the only one that exists, not the one I have created in my head to make myself feel better. I will move on once I have dealt with the pain, whenever that is. I must say, as years go by, I have learned to deal with the pain in an efficient way. I guess once I understood that pain is inevitable and I am only in control of how I think and act, life became tremendously easier. There are so many things, billions of things, I cannot control so I don’t even worry about those things. Sometimes, I hear people say “how do you deal with death?”. How could I ever deal with death? How does on deal with death? It is the most inevitable thing ever. It happens. I accept it, not like I have a choice. I curse all the Gods and I cry. I feel the pain and I move on. It isn’t easy. There are books that could help you better than I ever could. Use Google.

Let the pain in. Acknowledge it. Feel it. Let it the fuck in. Be miserable. Then, once you have felt the full force of human sorrow, accept it, and move on. I know it sounds simple and I know it isn’t. If the pain is so intense that it is stopping you from functioning, please seek help. My texts have many limits that trained professionals don’t have. I will never recommend therapy enough, if you can afford and if you live somewhere it’s available. And it isn’t for the weak. If you can get a trainer to improve your physical condition, why not get a psychologist or therapist to help you with your mental and emotional state?

Let the pain in. It is the smart and humane thing to do. Pain is part of our world. Denying its existence is denying our very own humanity.

Just one man’s opinion.

Now, smile and go on with your day!

Freeman. B

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