The Pain of Being Human

When you know better you do better.

~ Maya Angelou

Our journeys are different. No one can know exactly how you feel or how easy or hard something may be for you even if they have had a similar experience; even if they have had the exact same experience. We are all beautifully different on one level and remarkably similar on another. We are human beings…. and the infinite variation of thought, perception,  and interpretation is astounding when you really think about it.  There are roughly 7 billion people living on earth today, yet there is nobody like you.

Unfortunately (or thankfully?) Earth is a ‘learn as you go planet’. There is no manual entitled How to Live Your Life Without Pain and Grow Into Your Personal Best that popped into existence the moment you made your appearance on this planet. We grow through pain. Being born is painful and it just doesn’t seem to stop! Oh no…. pain seems to be as much a part of being human as breathing. Pain. Ugh. Physical pain. Mental pain. Emotional pain. Spiritual pain. Social pain. We seem to have self-inflicted pain, pain caused by others, pains we expect, and pains that blindside us. Big pains. Little pains. Chronic pains. Our own pain and the pain we feel when our loved ones, or even total strangers, are themselves in pain. Once, as I walked through a flea market, a vendor singled me out and loudly shouted, “You got pain?” as an attempt to lure me into investigating his wares. I wryly thought to myself that he would probably kill himself were I to walk over and begin to tell him about the pain that I felt. But I just walked away, Sometimes it hurts so bad you just can’t even describe the pain. Sometimes you know exactly what is causing your pain and sometimes it is just a pervasive, vague cloud that envelopes your entire being. There are so many levels and varieties of pain experienced by humans that I am incredulous that every language spoken on earth doesn’t include at least 157 different words for pain.

I want to say that I never actually formally studied pain nor the alleviation of pain per se in college. I do not hold advanced degrees in medicine, nor psychology, nor in the biology of pain, nor in pain relief. I am not qualified to diagnose your pain or recommend a treatment. Please seek the counsel of qualified professionals!

That said, for reasons beyond my understanding, all my life people have gravitated toward me in order to share their pain. I have always felt that I had a blinking neon sign above my head proclaiming “Tell Me All About It”.  People just tell me things. They just do. They always have. Sometimes I think they freak themselves out, “OMG why on earth did I just tell her that? I have never told anybody that!” Strangers on the bus, people I would pass on the street, even people I had contracted to listen to me talk about my pain!!!  At one point in my life, I made the decision to envision the surgical removal of that flashing neon sign, but it didn’t help. People still saw it somehow and proceeded to tell me their deepest, most painful secrets.

Finally, I moved through trying to change what I couldn’t control and just reached a point of acceptance. Now I am going into cyberspace to try to help you move through your pain. I did and you can too. I will not judge you. I will not blame you. I will not break your confidence. What is said to Hell-Louise stays with Hell-Louise. I am better than a trip to Vegas (right, Prince Harry?) Sometimes, just becoming clear enough about your pain to verbalize it to someone can help you leave that bulging piece of heavy black luggage on the garbage dump and walk away, feeling refreshed, renewed. I can help you do that. Of course, psychoanalysis could help, or perhaps a slew of medical tests. You really have a lot of options, don’t you? Options are good. Whatever you choose, I sincerely hope that your pain is alleviated so that you can really know how very beautiful and fun this planet can be.

So, after many long, painful decades of trying to figure out who I am and what I am doing here, I can finally say with certainty that I had my own piece of the puzzle all along, as much as I tried to resist the facts right in front of me. What a human tendency. So feel free to suffer with your pain alone, seek someone with high academic and professional standing, or share it with Hell-Louise.

That is how you begin to heal.

Don’t think that your pain is too big to heal or too small to matter. It matters because you matter. You may will find new pains waiting for you on your life’s journey, but you will be strong enough to handle them. You might even find yourself laughing.

Thank you for visiting. Ya’ll stop by again whenever you want. You are always welcome here. The rocking chair in the shade of my porch is very comfortable, and my sweet tea is always cold. I do look forward to seeing you again soon.



© Louise Kearns 2013. All Rights Reserved. Permission is granted to freely share this article in its entirety on the condition that full credit is given to the author, it is distributed freely and the URL is included.

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