Pain. Pain is akin to waves in the ocean- it hits the shore multiple times, goes away for a bit but comes back. We all hate pain and suffering and we crave for happiness and colors.
But sometimes, in the never ending quest for happiness, we forget that it is pain that makes us grow, it makes us better.
Not because we have a treasure of experiences but because we become more careful. This is the purpose of pain. If you have been through the pain, you can and should save someone else from the suffering.
I am a 20 year old student from Mumbai. Two years ago, I fell in love with a boy. I’m still confused about our relationship. He hit me and abused me but I stayed with him, thinking that was what a relationship was. Isn’t it all about tolerating and understanding? Everything was fine, until one day when I realized I no longer loved him. I liked somebody else. I had started drifting away and there was no looking back. I felt I would be happy now. My new relationship began as a strong friendship. More than looks, I fell in love with the conversations, his words and ideas.
I am very sensitive and he took care of me like a little flower. He understood my issues with trust and with people. Despite this, I went through many emotional difficulties.
I became an extremely anxious person and cried at home every day. I felt direction-less, I felt that there was nothing to look forward to. Unfortunately, I didn’t receive the desired support from my family.
Trying to understand the root cause for this, I spoke with my teacher. These conversations made me realize how it all lay in my past. The guy whom I left, he had, in turn, left scars on my heart deeper than any other physical wound. I feared him. I feared the future. I felt like I lost all control over my life. I knew I wasn’t in love with him anymore – then why the fear, the anxiety and the depression? I thought- maybe I was at fault. After all, I did fall in love with someone else and leave him. That did seem like I was unfaithful and guilty. Someone even asked me to ask the abusive boyfriend to forgive me. I did that too. I tried to do everything to feel better. Nothing helped.
It took time but I came out of it. I took time to explain things to myself. Now I know that it is not my fault. It was not my fault to fall in love with someone else and walk out of a relationship where I was not respected and was only abused day in and day out. He had made promises about marriage and about a future together. I was young and stupid. But the pain was – is – real, and present.
Pain has found its purpose. It reminds me that promises hardly matter and that I have every right to respect myself. I have the right to be with someone who appreciates me and my presence. It’s not like I am perfect. I still experience bouts of anxiety but I realize that having a negative approach to life will not help me. I have decided to fight it. I have chosen to balance rationality and emotions, and try and let go of the things that cause me pain if I hold on to them.
Anxiety was my friend. It IS my friend. It made me feel breathless and caged and that’s how I learnt to breakthrough and fly.
Not all things that cause suffering are bad. I am now in a stable relationship and now I know that love is respect, love is empathy. It’s not the future, it’s not the promise. It is the here and now.