Pain is such a subjective experience. A person might describe themselves as having a “high-tolerance” or “low tolerance” for pain. In the hospital, the nurses and doctors ask you to rate your pain on a scale of 0-10, and help patients to form an expectation or goal for pain management such as keeping your pain under a “4”. It is much easier to measure physical pain than emotional pain, and it’s easier to see when the healing process begins.
My two preschool-aged children’s bodies are like canvases for bruises and scrapes. Everyday brings a new host of minor ailments; a stubbed toe, splinter, tummy ache or skinned knee. Each situation calls for a different “fix”; sometimes it’s a ninja turtle bandaid, the old Elmo ice pack, a vitamin, or a spoonful of medicine. Maybe distraction and silliness take away from some of the pain. The one thing that always helps first is someone caring. A big hug, some attention for the tears that are shed, a kiss to the afflicted area go a long way.
When dealing with grief and heart break, it’s not so clear when healing begins or progresses. How simple yet complex this healing business is…. How do you know when your heart starts healing? One day you wake up and it doesn’t hurt so much that it takes your breath away. You laughed more and got out of bed more easily than the days before. You realize that you didn’t cry today.
It hurts us even to feel like we aren’t hurting so much with each day. I don’t know if that even makes sense, but it’s how we feel. Healing is not the same as forgetting it and “moving on”. Life does go on if you survive your hardships, but the truth is that things are never the same.
Physically, scars form below or at the surface, and sometimes they ache or complicate your life. Scars are usually considered ugly reminders of an accident or trauma. They are also a part of you, a deep & twisted knarly mass of thicker skin or tissue. It’s natures way of rushing to the scene to over-compensate for the hurt-ness and strengthen an area that has been weakened.
Big knarly knotted tree trunks are an image that come to mind. The knots tell a story, symbolize strength and can also be interesting and beautiful to look at. It makes it seem more natural to be scarred and although the branches may change directions in growth and become twisted rather than straight it is something to marvel at when you happen upon something so unique in its twisted natural beauty.
What feels right is hearing her name. Mary Grace, I love that. Wearing a pendant and meaningful jewelry close to my heart. I want to see it and hear it everyday. You can notice our pain and scars and don’t need to walk by like we are the same as before.