I’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.