YouTube Version: https://youtu.be/a_a-dPRW_JE
Can emotional pain be beautiful?
This one’s had me thinking deeply…
I’ve spent my past running from it. Whatever combination of alcohol, cigarettes, switching friend groups, or moving to a different city drowned it out most.
It’s only lately I’ve acquired the ability to see it with a new lens.
Maybe it’s the meditation, journaling, or wisdom I’ve soaked in from those much wiser than I, but I’ve come to believe that pain can be beautiful.
Does this make it easier to feel these “negative” emotional states? No, they feel just the same.
The difference for me is in the framing…
When my brain serves up a memory of pain, hardship, failure, heartbreak… in an odd way I see the beauty in it.
Like a proud father watching his daughter leave the household, I can feel gratitude for what has passed & how I’ve grown/ will grow from it.
Nearly all my times of emotional pain were preceded by an equal & opposite beautiful experience, otherwise there was no pain.
In fact, ALL the top peak experiences of my life have been finite things. Their fleeting nature is intrinsic to why they’re such treasures.
If I eat 1 slice of a mind-blowingly delicious banana cream pie I’m in heaven. But the 2nd slice lacks the same effect & the 3rd makes me sick.
Longboarding down the French Alps for the 1st time is forever burnt into my brain… but after 2 months of it I just wanted to go home.
Literally all the best things I’ve been blessed to experience by their very nature MUST come to an end or the magic rapidly evaporates.
In this way, call it mental trickery or not, I truly see my pain as a beautiful thing. It’s a reminder of incredible lived experiences worthy of a painful aftermath.
And those who know me well know that when I’m passionate about something, I will risk the aftermath every. single. time.
Do I still feel pain? Yes. But the “aftertaste” of this feeling is gratitude for a beautiful experience… a mixture of nostalgia, pride, sadness, & gratitude that holds a certain grace.
I’ve realized I have a choice. When painful memories strike my mind, I can feed the negative thought loop that says “that’s proof you’re a loser” “I knew you couldn’t do it” “they hate you.”
Or I can sit with the pain just long enough to trigger gratitude for the beauty that preceded it.
I choose the latter. Neurons that fire together, wire together… & I choose to wire myself for gratitude.
To remain open, un-jaded, ready for my next failures, heartbreaks, & pain-worthy beautiful experiences.