We may be physically old enough for our wants not to hurt us,
but we aren’t emotionally old enough yet.
Our wants can hurt us. Our feelings can hurt us.
What to do with this “pain in our feelings”? *
Do we cry, scream, curl up in a ball, crawl under the covers?
Do we eat cheesecake or cheese doodles by the bag?
Do we plot and plan revenge and retaliation?
Do we reject the entire world and bury the phone?
Do we forget to bathe, get out of bed, or even eat?
What do we do now,
now that the comforting lover who once numbed it all is no longer an option?
I come into the rooms as a child, pain and trauma stuffed deep inside me.
How can I handle the pain that cripples me, renders me hopeless, lifeless, imprisoned within myself.
Then I hear,
“You’re in the right place”, “Welcome”, “Keep coming back.”
And these strangers look me in the eye and let me know they get it,
they have felt that pain, they see the “me” deep inside hiding.
A tiny crack opens; hope creeps in.
*This quote comes from the Grapevine Magazine, “Quote of the Day” for Sept 15, 2016. It originally appeared as Got a Pain in Your Feelings?” Elmhurst, N.Y. March 1950. Emotional Sobriety II:
“The next time you feel hurt, outraged, bitter, or resentful–the beginning of many a slip as attested to by AA speakers–try to temember quickly that you haven’t been harmed. In nearly all cases, it’s just a pain in your feelings!”