The Great Motivator


I’ve spent the last six years recovering after my daughter’s transition. At first I couldn’t go on. Time passed and I kept on. Then I had no interests and time passed and I found interests. I troubled through nights sleeping and time passed. I am sleeping. I was broken and found tendrils of who I was before. Time passed and I am more whole. Life is like an onion. Layer upon layer becomes more exposed as I discover, understand and let go memories, core beliefs and old habits. I have discovered my resilience from living through pain. Without the motivation would I have learned so much about myself?

What Our Pain Can Teach Us

By Kerry Fantelli

Sorrow, hurt, pain

Can all be gifts.

They open you to feel,

allow the rawness of your days to be fully lived

electric skin

sensitive eyes, tender mind, open heart.

Pain works as a crow bar.

Yes, that sounds harsh

but it sure does pry you open

exposing raw parts that long to be soothed.

Without it, you may remain hidden, closed

walled off to the world of feeling, of love.

A good heartache

that just opens you wide, even if you don’t like it

and definitely don’t want it

permits you to express, feel, heal . . .

if you let it.

There are those that take their hurt, stuff it deep

Cover it up

with anger, fear, worry.

They remain at arm’s length

distanced from love, life, themselves.

Others – they numb their minds, hearts, bodies

treat their discomfort with mind clouds

things that remove them

distance that creates a vast divide.

They don’t reach into the recesses of their aching parts

that need flashlight attention.

Instead, they remain frozen with pain,

emotionless to love. If we can all shine light on our pain

expose it, express it, bathe it,

what kind of world would evolve?

We could learn, we could live, love, grow

be grateful for a passerby

saying “bless you” as you sneeze on the street,

thank the green leaves on trees above you

recognize air, sun

as it kisses your awestruck skin.

Wake each day with wonder

so when we see someone heartbroken,

we would choose to embrace them instead of look away.

Gaze right into their gigantic tears that long to be understood –

Be the present that bridges their sorrow.

Pain can be beautiful.

Raw expressions

ability to feel . . .

What is more beautiful than that?

Facing our pain is the only way we can heal it.

Walk the path that moves us from one place to another

a place that is softer, kinder

more familiar, yet different at the same time.

It brings us back to the core of who we are

What we stand for

And what we cannot stand

Knowing that we are stronger than pain

Every single time.

Participants’ Reflections

  • I needed to hear this reading today. I am trying to sit with my pain. I know I can get to the other side. In the meditation, I got that being in the present would help. Just be in my skin. Look for joy today for that hurting little girl.