20: 99 Problems

“The frequent attempt to conceal mental pain increases the burden: it is easier to say ‘My tooth is aching’ than to say ‘My heart is broken.'”

– CS Lewis, The Problem of Pain

A few things about pain.

First, even though I am responsible for breaking it, my heart remains wounded. I keep showing up, but years later, I can feel the weight pressing down on me. There remains a depression left in my heart. 

And to be clear, the grief I carry isn’t about my X. I may grieve who I imagine she was, but I will no longer suffer who she is. I’ve grown to realize my relationship with her was simply an output of input. Input that predated her by decades. Frankly, in the immortal words of Hugo, “I got 99 problems, and a bitch ain’t one.”

Secondly, learning to simply sit with feelings of depression and demoralization and not avoid them or hide from them takes an incredible amount of resources.

Lastly, I’ve grudgingly come to recognize I will always carry loneliness and sorrow.

All I can change is my opinions about why, grow in understanding about what those experiences means, and grow in acceptance of my own humanity. I will compassionately embrace these uncomfortable emotional experiences with the same conscious awareness I warmly welcome joy.

These feelings do not mean what I think they mean. Pain is not the enemy. These stories I imagine about how I feel are just opinions with embellishments.

Not every day can be the best day.


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