What Our Pain Can Teach Us (Poem)

We have all been hurt, disappointed, and hurt again. It is not what happened to us, but rather, what we do with our pain that defines us.
Some of us choose to shut down for a while. At times, that may be needed. But if it lasts for years and keeps us from loving, growing, living, we are cutting ourselves off from hurt – yes, but also from joy.
Your heart will heal. It always has the capacity to find peace. It takes time – sometimes a long time. Sometimes there is a part that will always remain sore. This does not mean we should hold others at arm’s length. For if we do, we will never feel that arm around us, offering up support, or giving us an embrace.
There is a lovely Rumi quote that succinctly states this: “The wound is the place where light enters you.”
It is through our pain and suffering that we grow. If we are never challenged, how we will grow? If we never fail, how will we learn? If we will never fall, how will we learn how to get up and keep going?

“The wound is the place where light enters you. -Rumi”

What Our Pain Can Teach Us

Sorrow, hurt, pain

Can all be gifts.

They open you to feel,

allow the rawness of your days to be fully lived

electric skin

sensitive eyes, tender mind, open heart.

Pain works as a crow bar.

Yes, that sounds harsh

but it sure does pry you open

exposing raw parts that long to be soothed.

Without it, you may remain hidden, closed

walled off to the world of feeling, of love.

A good heartache

that just opens you wide, even if you don’t like it

and definitely don’t want it

permits you to express, feel, heal . . .

if you let it.

There are those that take their hurt, stuff it deep

Cover it up

with anger, fear, worry.

They remain at arm’s length

distanced from love, life, themselves.

Others – they numb their minds, hearts, bodies

treat their discomfort with mind clouds

things that remove them

distance that creates a vast divide.

They don’t reach into the recesses of their aching parts

that need flashlight attention.

Instead, they remain frozen with pain,

emotionless to love.

If we can all shine light on our pain

expose it, express it, bathe it,

what kind of world would evolve?

We could learn, we could live, love, grow

be grateful for a passerby

saying “bless you” as you sneeze on the street,

thank the green leaves on trees above you

recognize air, sun

as it kisses your awestruck skin.

Wake each day with wonder

so when we see someone heartbroken,

we would choose to embrace them instead of look away.

Gaze right into their gigantic tears that long to be understood –

Be the present that bridges their sorrow.

Pain can be beautiful.

Raw expressions

ability to feel . . .

What is more beautiful than that?

Facing our pain is the only way we can heal it.

Walk the path that moves us from one place to another

a place that is softer, kinder

more familiar, yet different at the same time.

It brings us back to the core of who we are

What we stand for

And what we cannot stand

Knowing that we are stronger than pain

Every single time.

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Kerry Fantelli

Kerry Fantelli is a medical professional and yoga instructor based in Vermont. Recently, Kerry has been reading her writing after her yoga classes and also has shared poems with her patients that she hopes may find solace in her words. She is a healer and loves to write with the theme of helping, easing, and understanding emotions.

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