Looking back on my life, my only desire would be to have the knowledge I had at 40 when I was 26. But upon further reflection, I realized that you cannot fast forward in life. The trials we endure are the tools that sculpt us into the unique individualistic works of art should we be willing to accept the pain associated with progress
These convictions were recently stirred while I was listening to a renowned doctor talking about how some parents “stubbornly” choose to continue with a pregnancy even though the child will be born with disabilities. He expounded on the injustice of bringing a child into such a disadvantageous existence. I have had the privilege to be responsible for such a case, and I could not imagine a world without their sweet presence. I accused him of confounding between ethics and his own set of values. How can it be permissible to commit such a sin against a silent victim all in the name of avoiding pain?
I believe that God has a plan for each one of us. Grief, suffering, and pain are all part of life, and no one can go through this existence without encountering any. Growth cannot happen unless it was tempered with pain and cooled down with acceptance. Only then would we brandish a sword to fight the battles of life. Pain should be embraced and accepted because it gives meaning to life. It allows us to retain a sense of self and worth that remain our companions till we leave this earth.
Pain is a rebirth. Every time we go through one of life’s arduous trials, we are rewarded with euphoria; a sense of peace and security, a sense of private victory having weathered a tempest and lived to retell tales of glory like drunken bards exalting heroes of long loss. Women were entrusted with bringing forth the ultimate miracle into this world, and they suffer pain that was likened to that of being on fire. Yet as soon as they give birth, they are awash with an acute sense of serenity that allows them to embrace and love the reason for their pain scant minutes later.
Sometimes I wish clergymen would spare more time teaching people how to embrace pain. We are taught that Christ bore His cross to save us all, and so shall we all have to carry our own. What we are never told is that fighting the world is futile because it will retaliate every time and try to grind us further into the abyss of misery and melancholy. But when we accept that it is our fate to endure, we start learning how to become flexible and resilient. Bowing down to pain empowers us to defeat whatever hurdle life throws at us.
There is a quote that always resonates with me that says: “Pain is inevitable but suffering is optional”. We imprison ourselves in a cocoon of suffering by refusing to accept our new rebirth. We painstakingly dig ourselves deeper into a mire of gloom and doom that stagnates our rebirth leaving us rotting carcasses and empty husks shackled in the prison of time and space.