Today I’m Giving Thanks For My PainPosted: May 7, 2012
I had a very inspirational post planned for you today, but then something happened that knocked me off my feet. I can’t think about anything else, so I hope you enjoy the lesson I learned from my misery today. Literally.
Last week I blogged about the loss of my friend Terri Krause. The outpouring of support on her Facebook page and here on my blog reminded me that our pain over her passing is a direct reflection of how much she meant to us all. We hurt because Terri touched us. My lesson today begins there.
Last year I had the most amazing experience of my life (with the exception of the lives of my two daughters.) I fell madly in love with a woman who touched me in a way that no one has. In my heart, Romeo and Juliet is a high school infatuation compared to what I felt for her. Guys, compare riding a ten speed to piloting a fighter jet.
I can’t describe how much I loved her or how devastated I was when we parted. Words (even for me) pale to describe the agony that followed and as you’ll see in a minute, the feelings that still take hold of me sometimes when we are in touch.
Instead of trying to describe how I felt, I’ll share an experience I had a few weeks ago.
My mother asked me to trim around some bushes for her, a process that would take about 5 minutes with an electric trimmer. I didn’t want to get grass stains on my new sneakers, so I took them off and used the trimmer barefoot.
My father arrived minutes later with advice (no surprise).
“Get some boots on,” he said. “Your bare feet are a perfect ground and if you hit that wire you’ll kill yourself.”
“I’m okay with dying,” I said in a flat, serious voice.
My own comment stopped me cold. It wasn’t a smartass remark. It came from somewhere deep inside me. When I heard those words coming from my own lips I recognized an important truth about my life.
I’m a lucky guy. I’m incredibly thankful for my experiences in this world and if God wants to take me, I’m ready to go.
Please don’t think I’m going to jump off a bridge or something. It’s not that sort of feeling. It’s one of utter fulfillment and maybe the realization that I’ve seen what I came into this world to see.
The wonder of God’s creation smiled at me with hazel eyes and a head of curly black hair. The memory of that love will burn inside me forever. No matter what happens in my future, I have been blessed to experience the joys of this love and the love of my family. No material success can compare to those things.
If I am lucky enough to experience real love again I will be doubly blessed. I’ll never give up looking, but having this experience has changed me in a fundamental way.
In the last few months I’ve been able to embrace the truth without fear of what it says about me. Mistakes don’t change my value in this world because I am beginning to understand how small I am.
At times I have also felt what it means to love your enemies, because the outcome of any feud or battle isn’t significant.
A feeling of real peace has washed over me as my sadness ebbs.
Back to today…
Today I got some news that stabbed me hard. It was debilitating. It knocked me so flat I couldn’t write the upbeat blog I had planned. I went for a drive to the library to return some books and somewhere along the road an insight gave my day an entirely new meaning.
What if I am someone else’s Romeo?
What if things I say unknowingly hurt someone this deeply?
Today my pain taught me a new level of compassion. To be careful with my words around those I’ve loved in my past. To be sensitive of those raw nerves and to be understanding when touching a nerve causes them to lash out.
What has your pain taught you?