I was talking to an old friend over the phone last night. I told her about all my troubles and pains. I let her know that I have been in and out of positive and negative thoughts this week. She patiently listened to me as I vented about one of the most difficult weeks I have ever had in my life.
She finally decided to give me her input and broke it down into one simple idea. “We are all going through our own personal hell. Although everyone’s story is different, they are all different versions of hell nonetheless.”
My heart sank. I don’t think I have ever heard such a truth in my life.
When I am happy and smiling, I often find it hard to connect with others. I figure this is because not everyone is as happy as I seem. But when there is pain within me, I can somehow magically connect with everyone I come across. This might be because of the fact that pain is universal.
We all go through our own version of hell. Whether one version sounds more serious or heartbreaking than the other, each one of us has our own version to share with the world if we decide to do so.
This past week I realized pain connects people in ways I never thought possible because it runs so deep and brings so many other emotions to the surface. Without the pain, there is no recovery. Without the darkness, there can be no light.
I found so much comfort in listening to other people’s versions of hell. It’s not because my hell seemed less horrible than theirs but because I found comfort knowing that they, too, have felt just as hopeless and lost as I have recently.
There is something beautiful about pain. I oftentimes find myself more inspired to write when things aren’t going as “planned.” And that’s the thing about life, there are no real concrete plans. Life will hit us when it feels like it and show us that pain exists so we can come out of it more resilient and powerful than ever.