Ripples #935: When Pain Visits.

Ripples #935: When Pain Visits.
Apr 24, 2017


1. You must let the pain visit.
2. You must allow it teach you.
3. You must not allow it [to] overstay.
—Ijeoma Umebinyuo, shared by Lili, Glendale, CA


Life is amazing. And then it’s awful. And then it’s amazing again. And in between the amazing and awful it’s ordinary and mundane and routine. Breathe in the amazing, hold on through the awful, and relax and exhale during the ordinary. That’s just living heartbreaking, soul-healing, amazing, awful, ordinary life. And it’s breathtakingly beautiful.
-L.R. Knost, shared by Laura, Milwaukee WI


I’ve recently been in close contact with a few folks I care about who are in difficult situations that include significant pain. It isn’t always easy to provide support to someone close to us who is suffering–it sometimes reminds us of our own pain, and other times our clumsy attempts to offer advice or treatment solutions complicate things rather than help out. Well-intentioned though we might be, our hurting friend may prefer a steadfast, reliable witness who can listen, soothe, and validate rather than hearing an endless of stream of, “What you need to do is…;” or “I’m sure the reason this is happening is because…;” or the dreaded, “Oh, this reminds of the time that something awful happened to me….”

If you or someone you care about is currently dealing with pain, whether it is physical, emotional, or both; I offer three humble gifts:
1. Support: I am truly sorry that pain has visited; I pledge to continue unleashing these ripples of compassion and kindness with the determination to help you relieve the pain you’re feeling, and to remind you that you are *not* alone.
2. Curiosity: I’m wondering if there is any way you can leverage pain’s unfortunate presence in your life as an opportunity to grow? Can you use it to learn some things about yourself, others, and/or the universe? Try it and see!
3. Encouragement: Remember that you are tougher than you are capable of recognizing right now, and you have the capacity to summon a fierce combination of persistence and patience to face it. I know that because look at you–you made it to today! And the tougher things have been, the more impressive that feat really is.

The Ripples Guy

Recent Ripples