• Mary Anderson

Living With Pain

I have lived for as long as I can remember with a lot of pain. From a very young age I was aware that my body hurt. As I got older I became aware of the emotional pain as well. I’ve learned to live pretty well with the physical pain. I’ve had a harder time with the emotional pain.

Today it struck me that maybe working to transform it has been the wrong way to go about it.

Like chronic back pain, it might always be there. Maybe the trick is to see what else is there as well. Perhaps I can let the pain stay there but not let it be ALL there is. For example, as I walk along on this frosty morning, still chilled from last night’s temps in the teens, I can feel the warmth of the rising sun. It feels great and coexists with the colder frosty sections of trail that I pass through when I am in the shade. The heat and the cold coexist.

Yes, there is pain inside, but outside there is such an amazingly beautiful environment, one in which I am privileged to be immersed. In fact, this “outside” environment has come to feel like my home. I can’t imagine living inside a house once again, though as winter approaches I expect it will be easier to return to living within four walls.

So I am wondering, if I surround myself with beauty, could it be enough to offset the parts of me that live each day wanting to die? Can I say, “Okay, I have that pain and can accept living with it by focusing on the beauty around me.” Can I not get swamped by the vitriol being spewed my way by the man I trusted and loved? I would like to believe it is possible, but really I just don't know. With each step i take out here I am giving it my best shot.

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