The Hidden Treasure in Pain

As I embark on a second tattoo I am often asked, “Why would you put yourself through so much pain?” As I listen for my answer, I’m flooded with various images of painful activities that I’ve chosen to endure. I retort with, “Pain is temporary, but the ‘result’ is forever.”

So what is the ‘result’ I am searching for?
And, am I any different than you?

The burn of my tattoos results in a shared celebration of my life story and values; the ache of my muscles from a workout results in my ownership of grace and power; the lingering buzz in my head after 100’s of miles on a motorcycle results in knowing that I’m a survivor.

Pain magnifies, amplifies and actualizes a desired result. If you allow it.
Pain also magnifies, amplifies and actualizes the fear of more pain. If you allow it.

It’s so easy to complain about our pain. But complaining is what causes the suffering. After considering our pain’s request for our care, can we look a little deeper?

When we realize we’ve chosen our particular pains—created the life we’re living—we see that there’s a pleasure that all pain leans on, or we wouldn’t have chosen it.

Together, pleasure and pain create a flow. Like death and rebirth. Allow the current to flow between them—refrain from bracing against the fear of more pain—and you simply become the mid-wife to a deeper pleasure.

I’m not talking about a kinky fetish where pain is a turn-on. I’m talking about pain as a turn-off to living a full life.

Bracing against pain keeps you in pain. Appreciating pain as a journey into your heart, soul and conscience imparts self-knowledge.

The same lesson is shared in mind and body.

The pain in my heart from losing my sister to covid results in knowing the depth and beauty of my love for her; the frustration of being distracted by my monkey-mind results in creating conscious change in my mindset; the uncertainty that surrounds my aging mother’s care results in learning how to prepare for my own aging needs.

Allow the pain and you allow the pleasure. A hidden treasure that results in a sacred appreciation for the ups and downs of your life. An appreciation, l believe, we are all searching for to be happy.

Pain defines pleasure by being opposite in nature. Pain also delivers hidden treasures by swimming with the current through it. Hold course to find your deeper you.

Feel. Heal. Live. Explore. Love. Change.


Rings of Engagement

Five-days beaching with Anthony at the Jersey Shore led us to rings of engagement. Two floating rings—a silver ring for friendship; a gold ring for love—now hang from our ears. We’re engaged in a 1614 Corinthian quote, “All that we do be done in (friendship and) love.”

The playful division of an earring pair on the Asbury Boardwalk expanded into a conversation around what to call them. As we walk away with our purchase I say, “we have friendship-earrings!” pause… “They’re like wedding rings,” Anthony shouts. I reply with, “Well, how about engagement rings.”

Together we engaged in all that Asbury offered: waves, sand and salt air; food, cocktails and classic cars; Springsteen, The Stone Pony and Frank’s Diner. We brought friendship and love everywhere we went. People commented on the delight they experienced through us.

Then after check out, on our final stroll through the boardwalk boutiques, a bracelet caught Anthony’s eye engraved with our Corinthian quote. We begin our trek back to NYC with the bracelet in tow, delighted by our journey’s magical unfolding.

Our first vacation, without friends as chaperones, united us in the principles of friendship and love, symbolized through jewelry.

Not with traditional rings wrapped around fingers that lead to promising your SELF to another. But rather, rings floating from ears that lead to promising your FRIENDSHIP and LOVE to another. A code of conduct versus a promise of coveting.

We returned home just in time for my 60th birthday party. I’m surrounded by old and new friends. I realize that every relationship in the room has asked me to stretch my SELF to honor friendship.

These relationships have stood the test of time and change. These friendships all carry the unspoken ‘silver’ promise to align in the best interest of each other with respect for differences. This promise makes for deep friendships that don’t need day to day tending. And, can survive months or years of distance without dissolving.

I think about the principles of love and what is the unspoken ‘gold’ ring promise?

Different from friendship, I think that love reflects an interest in day to day tending?

Wanting to engage with each other in the mundane to grow; rising above fears to engage with each other as individuals to mature; and, living free to frolic in life just for fun, to keep birthing depth into unity.

Perhaps, love asks us to stretch our SELF beyond respecting differences, to find the common ground within differences. This promise makes for a union that evolves each individual into their life purpose. A purpose with wings that fly beyond our union to offer our light to the world.

Our silver and gold pirate-like rings dangle with the delight of choosing one another to help sculpt us into our greatness.

This is about allowing our self to be touched, changed and elevated by another.