I will paint you with colors
you weren’t able to see yourself in.
For every chance you will never take,
I will leap with your bravery.
The center of your world
is unknown to me –
But I will navigate through the labyrinth
you built around your heart,
for as long as it takes.
The chair in the corner doesn’t have a name. It doesn’t know the bitter taste of betrayal. It cannot feel the bite of regret. It can hold me. It embraces all it cannot have for itself. Supporting all the weight of me. The heavy, the tangible. Its arms are stable, steadfast and strong. When I am curled up in them I feel protected, enclosed by walls of comfort. These arms are soft and assure me that they mean no harm. They lift me up and settle me down. They are a constant supply of everything I need at any moment I might need it. The chair does not have a reason to feel emotion. The chair does not feel but it does feel for me. Absorbing the heat, the strife, the angst and the grime. I shed my skin in the chair, letting it hold me I am bare and naked. The chair sees me as I am. The chair doesn’t know the way I look outside these 4 walls. It only knows what I release. It only knows the heaviness. The burden, the sighs.
The chair knows disappointment. It recognizes defeat and loneliness. Having provided sweet relief from tears and sweat, the relentless world rubbing salt in fresh open wounds. The chair has developed a pallet for savory things. It yearns only for flavors it knows. It yearns truly for nothing, because the chair cannot yearn. It cannot feel. It cannot state opinion or fact or debate matters of the heart and mind. The chair is unmoving. Understated. Understanding. It encourages me to sink deep into its crevasses, the nooks of the cushions, the friction of the fabric against my skin. The chair pulls me in. Wraps its arms around me and says “Stay a while. I will hold you for as long as you need holding.”
Pain is universal, while also being so unique to a given cause. Emotional, mental, or physical. The pain we ourselves feel or the pain we feel for someone else. Being hit in the face or being told unkind words. Being betrayed or lied to, let down or disappointed. Our bodies bruise. Our hearts bruise. Our ego and our pride bruise. We try like hell to avoid it, yet are followed around all our lives by its unwanted shadow.
Some say the more often we feel it, the stronger we become. For most, pain is poison. It can weaken the soul if we let it, devour every muscle and bone, every fiber of our being until it consumes us. We can learn from pain, to never place our hand in the fire twice. But we are often foolish, either forgetting the sensation or attempting to feel the flame in a different way; always yielding the same result, always burning.
Pain evolves. It assumes a different form if you hold onto it for too long, taking on new shapes and tastes of constant acidic bitterness. Pain feeds on pain. It thrives on our need to cling to our daemons and dwell on our pasts. We carry our pain, lock it up in suitcases or wear it like a jacket. We might hide it under the bed or hang it up in the back of the closet, but whenever the time comes to move, be it onward or forward, we make sure to take it with us. It belongs to us. It becomes us. Taking up too much space to allow anything else in, it can become all we make room for.
The weight of our pain only gets heavier and harder to carry with time. We can choose to travel light. Rather than tucking our pain away, or giving it to others to deal with, we can unpack it. Take a good look at it and decide to take the lighter jacket instead. Leaving the pain behind, we just might find there is plenty more to keep us warm.