“It’s so hard to forget pain, but it’s even harder to remember sweetness. We have no scar to show for happiness. We learn so little from peace.” ― Chuck Palahniuk
Have you ever noticed that when you are on vacation, you feel like every day is magic and it’s never going to end? Then, you come home and go right back into your daily life. It’s back to work. It’s back to school. Family dinners into bedtime to prepare to do it all again the next day. In a few days, you wonder if you really went on vacation or if it was a dream? Even if it was just last week, it quickly feels like it was months ago or an illusion. Why is it so hard to hold on to that feeling?
When it comes to remembering something that was painful, I feel like I can recall exactly how I felt. I can remember what I was wearing, what the weather was like and, maybe, even what was playing on the radio. When it comes to happy memories, I can remember bits and pieces, but it always feels like looking back on a dream. It helps if I have a picture to jog my memory and help me to remember the smaller details.
So, what does this teach us? We try to avoid pain, but pain is a necessary part of life. It’s very good at teaching us things we may or may not want to learn. When you tell a child that something is hot, they might remember it. But, when they feel it, they remember how hot is was and they want no parts of it in the future. We don’t have to learn everything through pain, but some things are necessary. Some of the bigger lessons involve pain. So, when you avoid pain, you are sometimes avoiding your biggest lessons.
Some of the biggest lessons involve love and some of them are the most painful. People try to avoid love thinking that will help them avoid pain. The truth is that the absence of love is as painful as going through the motions of love. And, the lesson that you are destined to learn will come to you whether you want it to or not. It’s your purpose on this earth to experience and learn from those experiences. So, we can’t avoid pain anymore than we should avoid pleasure. They dance together in this experience we call life.
But, here is the great thing about it, we can always create pleasure. Pleasure isn’t something you have to work hard to create. You just have to allow it. It’s all around you at all times. It’s literally a choice. You can’t always avoid pain, but pleasure is always waiting for you. It’s only a laugh away. Maybe that’s why it’s so hard to remember, so you will want more and more of it.
“Pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our consciences, but shouts in our pains. It is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world.” ― C.S. Lewis