your pain is your own

my pain is my own.

i have been aware, lately and again, of the desire to compare pain. i think science fictionally, so i often live in a mythological world where my pain is invisible.

even to me.

i sometimes have the feeling of coming up short for an explanation of why i hurt the way i do. others are going through far worse situations. i layer on devastations every day from my loved ones, from my timelines and newsfeeds.

and yet, i’ve been crying again. tears particularly for me, for my grief and loss.

tomorrow is mother’s day. i’m blessed that my mother, and her mother, are still here, and that we are not only in a good place, but i would say in right relationship, with lots of love, respect and transparency present.

i miss my father’s mom. and i have a lot of people in my life for whom mother’s day is a day of grief, sadness, tenderness, memory, and longing.

i enter this mother’s day with a vastly different reproductive system than i had last year. i hold my half system tenderly and reach out to my grieving community with an awareness of how small my hands are, compared to a mother’s hands.

inside my hurt, i know there is pain i can’t imagine, even as i offer something to counter it.

i believe we have the right to take up space with our full emotional lives and processes. pain, anger, joy, ecstacy – it’s all our right to feel.

right now there is so much pain to feel, and the healthy move is to feel it. we are increasing our capacity to hold and transform pain as individuals, as communities, as societies.

we fear pain so much, and yet it is part of how change happens.

when movements builds, there emerges a constant battle of pain. some of this is righteous, necessary, an awakening process. ‘why can’t anyone see my pain?’ is a legitimate question in a world where supremacy and oppression make so many of us invisible. the primary way supremacy works, in fact, is to erase the humanity of others, in order to enact genocide, or implement slavery, or, in other less overt but still dangerous ways, live in the realm of believing your life is more miraculous than the lives of others for purely superficial reasons.

our fear leads to stagnation, inflammation, emptiness. it is a wisdom, learning to be with my fear, our fear…to know when it is intelligence.

but we can’t let our fears silence us.

we have to be careful of internalizing the ability to embellish or erase the miraculous emotive nature of others. this can happen a number of ways.

there is a way to feel invisible and self-erase, make ourselves small, quiet – swallow our truths.

there is a way we can create the conditions in which no one wants to look in our direction because we can only see our pain, and diminish everyone else’s.

there is a way we can become obsessed with attempting to compare our pain to the pain of another.

there is a way we can prioritize the grief of others, ignoring our own brokenness, our own need for healing.

the thing we each have some reference for is pain. the thing we cannot imagine is the pain of others.

i have been reflecting on the saying ‘what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger’. i think that is only true if i take time to turn and face the places that hurt the most. not concerning myself with comparison, but rather with the longing to integrate that suffering into a stronger self.

what doesn’t kill me makes me weep, makes me over, makes me new…makes me me.