In the midst of pain there is a tendency to want to curl up. It feels very much like protection to envelop the most sensitive parts from exposure to outward battering.
After some of my most heart wrenching moments, I found myself curled in a ball clutching my heart in a desperate attempt to shield it. Enveloped in a few moments of solace. The problem that developed was dependence on the place that felt safe and distanced from potential discomfort. Even a caccoon which is designed to swaddle the caterpillar during metamorphisis becomes a cage to the butterfly unless she is able to break herself free when it’s time to fly. Everyone needs a place of respite. A safe place where we can go and rest and feel comforted, and protected, and secure. But if we remain there too long our ability to function becomes atrophied like unused muscles. Withered. Wasting away.
While we think we are protecting ourselves, it’s easy to lose our ability to freely trust or love or hope. Protection can turn to entrapment. We might begin to feel insecure, doubt ourselves, or fear the pain more than we desire to live fully. At some point we have to allow ourselves to uncurl.
Re-enter our messy, beautiful life.
When the sting of pain begins to wain, extend, move and stretch. Reach for the fullness of life.
Pain is a part of life. We can’t escape it.
And we can’t hide from it. “Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don’t be afraid.” ~Buechner