Pain is so close to pleasure.

Please tell me someone started singing the song of the same title, in Freddie Mercury’s voice?  I know there are more Queen nuts out there like me!  People who have every word of Highlander memorized, the way others have Top Gun somewhere inappropriately close to their heart for an inanimate object that can’t possibly love us back?  That whole movie should be so depressing, (Highlander that is, Top Gun is just sappy), what with the immortal’s search for love and acceptance, only to survive infinite eons of pain and suffering.  Yet, it is triumphant to see how he copes with continual loss, he chooses to love and love again, carrying mementos of those times in his life so he can relive what he lost but, in the most reverent of ways.

When we are suffering, that’s when time slows down to a crawl, and when we’re experiencing great joy, we remember it in slow motion as well. This weekend I heard two 9 year old girls saying they wished they could speed up the week and slow down the weekend, so it’s not just adults who are aware of the speed of joy and the agonizing slow motion of displeasure or pain! Our brains constantly pick apart those moments that affect us the most, either for the ecstasy of the moment to remain fresh, or to understand why the pain was so acute so we can learn from it and prevent it from happening again. At least in the best of circumstances.  Still, there are a few who splash around in the painful moments, because they know no opposite end of the spectrum.  I know that my greatest joys are multiplied exponentially because of the depth of pain I have suffered.  Being at the lowest of lows, when someone else made me the object of their pain and fear, allows me to truly value and splash around in the miraculous pleasure of a simple unexpected kiss from my child.  Elevating myself from a place of hurting myself to a place where I have the ability of looking around at all the amazing triumphs and successes of my present, makes those successes all the sweeter!

I shared with someone today, who needed to hear a message of hope, it’s not that I can no longer remember the pain and suffering, I can recall it almost as if it happened yesterday, even though it has been more than a decade, almost two!  It is that I can now look back on it and not have it hurt so much, I can look back and wonder at why I thought hurting myself was the only way to cope that made any sense!  I shared with someone else today, who needed a word of encouragement, how amazing her journey has been, how in awe I was of their strength and development and overall character!

How easy it is to lift someone up with just a thought spoken out loud. We can be so quick to judge the negative and correct the faults, why not catch someone at a vulnerable time and sincerely compliment them from the heart?

Who can you encourage today? How about right now, through a phone call, a text, a Facebook message?

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