Sunday, March 29, 2009

After Pain

photograph courtesy of

After pain comes healing and after healing comes personal growth. From personal growth we gain a deeper insight into our true selves, or simply put, our souls; and from becoming more aware of our souls' purpose, we attain higher consciousness -- the union between our spirit and God or as others may refer to as the Universe -- and from this union comes Enlightenment. Many ask why we are only able to achieve higher awareness after pain?

I would like to share a beautiful excerpt from The Prophet, one of most the famous works of Lebanese American poet, writer and artist Kahlil Gibran, who elegantly speaks of why we experience pain in our lives and the rewards we reap after pain.

"And a woman spoke, saying, Tell us about Pain.

And he said:

Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding.

Even as the stone of the fruit must break, that its heart may stand in the sun,

so must you know pain.

And could you keep your heart in wonder at the daily miracles of your life,

your pain would not seem less wondrous than your joy;

And you would accept the seasons of your heart,

even as you have always accepted the seasons that pass over your fields.

And you would watch with serenity through the winters of your grief.

Much of your pain is self-chosen.

It is the bitter potion by which the physician within you heals your sick self.

Therefore trust the physician and drink his remedy in silence and tranquility:

For his hand, though heavy and hard, is guided by the tender hand of the Unseen,

And the cup he brings, though it burns your lips,

has been fashioned of the clay which the Potter has moistened with His own sacred tears."

In this wondrous passage of The Prophet, Kahlil Gibran exquisitely describes how pain is part of a spiritual process we all must undergo as human beings. The process teaches us to appreciate our lives more and value the bountiful blessings around us by helping us gain a deeper understanding of ourselves and find our true purpose in life -- not the purpose society has pressured us to achieve materially.

After pain comes a cleansing of the soul that clears up our hearts and minds of the rubbish we ourselves pollute it with every single day. This rubbish of course pertains to all our fears, anger, hatred, disappointments, resentments, insecurities, prejudices, doubts, greed, selfishness and indifference towards the world and the people around us. We need to wrench these feelings out from within ourselves to purify our souls. We have to undergo the painful and unpleasant rites of passage that come naturally with life. True happiness, contentment, a purposeful and meaningful existence will all come to fruition and can be an attainable goal after a lot of personal work and after pain.

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