I have a serious personality, too often expressed through the tears falling on my pillow. I feel the pain of others wherever I go, and I am so connected to the spirit realm that I can sometimes feel the pain of those who have crossed over. All of this is a weight on my body, and is connected to my own issues with chronic joint pain.
I am a healer in need of healing.
I am in good company. Hildegard von Bingen, a vibrant Catholic mystic, struggled with migraine headaches, violent, painful auras in which she learned deep spiritual truths. Two of my favorite authors struggled with pain and despite this, or more likely, because of their pain, they wrote deeply and brilliantly about the human condition. Fyodor Dostoyevsky, had epilepsy, perhaps due to his violent encounters with a government who tried to kill him and silence his work. Ernest Hemingway struggled with chronic pain, emotional and physical, so severe that he eventually committed suicide. Even Jesus often went away to silent places to pray, and I imagine he had great emotional and even physical pain. He was certainly an empath, and the Bible says that he bore the weight of humanity on his body.
I have been meditating on the source of my pain, and the Holy Spirit whispers to me that I need to find Joy. The Joy of Life. Even as I look at the ugly parts of human society which put people in bondage and oppression, there is another side of human love. I am reminded of this when all the children in my preschool class, which I teach, run up and gleefully yell my name as they hug me every morning when I enter the classroom. If I leave and come back only ten minutes later, they do it again, the joy of their boundless child love shared through their smiles and arms.
I am reminded of the joy of life when I see another person give change to a homeless man on the street or give a place to stay for an orphaned teenager. I know joy when I see a group of Christians embrace a group of homosexuals in a show, or even an attempt, of love and understanding. I know joy when I see a mother kiss the head of her wide-eyed newborn.
I see joy when I look at the trees and flowers on a sunny day or marvel at the cloud formations in a coming storm. Joy is all around me, a gift of nature and the Universe to help me through this earthly journey. Today, I will purpose to let go of my pain and pursue the joy of life.