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I’d rather feel pain than nothing at all. A phrase I’ve uttered many times over the years. A phrase that’s elicited just as many reactions.

Before you write me off completely as a wingnut, hear me out. It’s not that I want to feel pain, or sorrow for that matter, or fear, or abandonment, or rejection, or betrayal. It’s just that given a choice between any of them or nothing, I’d rather not feel nothing.

I have felt nothing on a handful of occasions; when I’ve given up, or I’m tired, or I just don’t care anymore. Nothing matters, whether I ever eat or sleep or shower again, whether I live or die.

Feeling nothing, being numb feels like being dead inside and that scares me more than anything else.

The sting of pain and sorrow and fear, etc., reminds me I’m alive and experience has shown me that it will pass and if I pay attention and embrace it, I will be stronger for it, I will learn to prioritize better, I will have more joy in my life, I will grow in compassion.

I loved this poem when I came across it today. I hope it speaks to you as well.

Love Sorrow

Love sorrow. She is yours now, and you must take care of what has been given. Brush her hair, help her into her little coat, hold her hand, especially when crossing a street. For, think,

what if you should lose her? Then you would be sorrow yourself; her drawn face, her sleeplessness would be yours. Take care, touch her forehead that she feel herself not so

utterly alone. And smile, that she does not altogether forget the world before the lesson. Have patience in abundance. And do not ever lie or ever leave her even for a moment

by herself, which is to say, possibly, again, abandoned. She is strange, mute, difficult, sometimes unmanageable but, remember, she is a child. And amazing things can happen. And you may see,

as the two of you go walking together in the morning light, how little by little she relaxes; she looks about her; she begins to grow.

Mary Oliver