There are situations in life that make me feel like a swelled wave exploding again and again on decks of insignificant and deserted ships.
There are situations that offer me nothing more than failure, misery, rejection, separation, heartbreak and unrequited love. But, then I realize life is not about these situations.
It is said that pain always has a way of leading us to transcendence. Mystics call it a window inside every heart that illuminates our days of emotional eclipse.
But pain doesn’t necessarily come with grief. Sometimes, the pain is born out of happiness.
Sometimes, life is all about the situations that provide us with hope, optimism, survival and care. Helping someone or being rescued are much more common than incidents of failure, rejection or heartbreak.
I cry whenever the doctor helps me out with a painful physical ailment and soothes me with medications. A sense of pain lingers for a long time when someone takes time just to help me out with a bad situation. My gratitude becomes 10 times more intense when a host makes me comfortable in a gathering of strangers and later I think of the host with a sense of happy pain—the kind of pain that expands my empathy.
I’ll never forget the pain in the eyes of my friend—who was leaving the country forever—when her neighbors lovingly agreed on adopting the Tomcat she had for five years. She was happy yet there was a strong sense of pain to her contentment.
Like every other kind of pain, the happy-pain also leads us to transcendence but the impact is more universal.
This is the pain that we feel after being saved, rescued and supported—when the swelling wave is celebrated by the colorful and curious crowds standing upon lively ship decks. When moonlight shines upon the lonely cactus and makes it feel like the only superstar under its spotlight.
This is the kind of pain which make us realize that our support matters.
There are people in our lives who shine their pure light upon our hearts and make us feel like a superstar. They surprise us with their ability to care so deeply for us.
There are people in our lives who provide us with all the favors we are too vain to ask for. Our intimate circles are surrounded by people who make someone a butt of their jokes for an eternity—just because they had caused us a hurt. We are guarded by kind strangers, friends and lovers, who oh so gently swim inside our wounded hearts like warm-soft water.
And all that is more painful than the original source of our pain.
During our vulnerable times—when someone threatens our integrity or when we are about to lose everything that was precious for us—a support system provides us such comfort that we forget about our pain and cry with the most shattered tears the world would ever see. These shattered tears are the tears of gratitude. The pain we feel after being rescued by someone is the pain of gratitude.
Author: ZauFishan Qureshi
Editor: Catherine Monkman
Photo: Pedro Ribeiro Simões/Flickr