Wearing My Pain on My Sleeve

black heartI’ve discovered a very powerful thing over the last few months: pain looks different on everyone. Sometimes it’s a private brooch we wear constantly and stroke whenever we need to remind ourselves of the pain, by cutting our fingers along the sharp edges. At times, it is a slick trench that looks so beautiful and warm on the outside, but the truth is our pretty feathers are hiding a garment that every day rubs us raw. And other times it’s like a tuxedo t-shirt, where we use humor and irreverence to mask what’s really there.

How am I wearing my pain? What habits do I have that were created out of a great pain? I had to ask myself those questions recently.

Pain is a powerful motivator and a dangerous one, especially if you don’t realize you’re using it as a motivator.
Pain can cause you to judge others unfairly and segregate yourself from others who wear their pain differently.
Pain can look like pride.
Pride can turn into prejudice.

I used to think: “I don’t get women who dress ’to the nines’ every day. Don’t they have better things to do with their time?”

But a part of me was really saying, “I don’t believe I’m pretty enough to compete with them, so I’ll hide behind productivity and hard work.”

I was proud of being hardworking.
I was prejudice against those who valued appearance.
I was wrong.

Now, whenever I get upset with a friend, a relative or even a stranger, I ask myself:

Is this buried pain I’m experiencing from them?
Am I experiencing this in this way because of my own buried pain?

I ponder how to respond differently to situations and how to use my art to both reveal and heal pain.

How are you wearing your pain? How might you adjust, seam and tailor that pain into something different? Something beautiful?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *