What is it about pain that, when given to us, we so terribly want to give it back?
It is like when we purchase something from the store, but then we discover, upon arriving home, that it is actually spoilt… we take it back to the shop, saying, “Pardon me, but this is utter rubbish, and I want to return it, thanks.”
Except, at the shop, they’re likely to accept the return…
With pain, we do not do well receiving the dish without a strong desire to dish it back – perhaps not immediately, but, eventually, we always seem to want to throw it back into the server’s face: How dare you serve me such poison?!
Is it something about our experience of being so terribly unloved, that we feel we must somehow prove that we are worthy of being loved…?
Or that we are so afraid of being hurt even more, that we feel a need to put a hard shell forward and attack, showing strength that we hardly have… all just to cover up our degree of pain…?
Are we afraid to acknowledge what we might have done to be not true to our highest selves, such that someone was even able to cause us pain in the first place…, and so we avoid looking inward, and throw it all outward and back to its source instead…?
Are we embarrassed that we weren’t enough of something… to have the pain to have been avoided…?
Is it that we feel we are worth so much more than being treated as we were, but we don’t know how to show it…?
Do we really want someone else to experience the suffering we experience in life?
Plus, if we all seem to want to return pain for pain, would not the person who inflicted the pain on us in the first place have received his or her own dish of pain from somewhere else beforehand, thereby propelling him or her forward to continue the pain?
When we are angry at someone, it can seem impossible to ‘turn the other cheek’, as we were all told growing up…, to offer up yet another place for the person to inflict pain on us…
But, what if we consider someone we love dearly, perhaps more than we love ourselves…?
What if this person were hurting us…, and what if we knew this person’s extreme suffering that induced the outward actions of hurting us…?
In such a situation, I believe it would be somewhat easy to offer my other check… Go on, hit me – I know you need to do that right now…, and I am here for you, however you may need.
In Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, the monster says that his outward evil actions are the result of his intense suffering.
“I am malicious because I am miserable.”
My heart ached for the poor creature, as he told his tale of woe, and how humans had been so dreadful to him, simply because they were afraid of him, and how they gave him no chance… they gave him no love of any kind…
What could happen if we approached all of our own pains inflicted from the outside in this way?
Would we no longer be longing to throw it back at the giver, but, instead, be aching to help ease the giver’s intense wounds of the heart that had him or her do us harm in the first place?
When I think of my own desire to cause pain to those who have hurt me, it is intense pain that propels the desire… how must people be suffering, if they are dishing out pain so freely and actively?
How lonely they might be…
Funny… (and by funny, I mean something else, of course) I suddenly find myself wanting to go hold and hug and comfort the person who last hurt me, to apologize… for what?… for my desire to make him suffer…, for any role I played – that I believe I played – in hurting him some already, though very differently than I was hurt…, for every thought of ill will I have had toward him…, for all the pain he must be in to have hurt me as he did… and I want him to experience being loved truly and cared for, to experience that he is not only worth it, but absolutely enough just as he is…
And then, another comes to mind… I am not by any means at a point of actually wanting to do this myself, but I can see how much that person must have been lacking in love – how miserable that person must be, in some level within, whether aware of it or not – in order to cause such misery to others, to me… it is almost heartbreaking…
I think I have found my new mentality to practice in life right now… how to offer up my whole self and never be hurt, by bringing love to the table… patience and pure, true, and free love.
Like free hugs… only better.
Like Michael Jackson’s constant serenade to me as a child, we can heal the world, make it a better place for you and for me and the entire human race…
I’ll start with my little corner, and see what happens… hopefully, we light the world on fire with this love, it will be so profound, so powerful… so true.