By: Kanzi El Nasharty
There are three types of pain; one that you witness helplessly on your beloved, one that directly hurts right at the heart and another that finds its way to your core and drains it. One that starts with emptiness, one that starts with an ache – a physical ache – and one that starts with a break. Yet somehow, just somehow, both find their way to the heart. Somedays you witness your most loved ones in this type of physical pain, you conceive it, you identify it, and you perceive it in their very eyes as they blink. As they blink in the midst of their silence you know – deep inside you – that they are suffering.
Even if, no, especially if, they are silent.
Then you see the signs and the outcomes of their pain, you watch the water swim in their eyes and fall down their cheeks like an overflowing dam broken, yet they’re still silent. You watch as their hands begin to shake uncontrollably and you witness them as they get up – get up to what? To leave. But why? Why wouldn’t they let you witness that pain, why wouldn’t they let you understand? Because they don’t want you to carry the burden of their stories, their hardships, and their misfortune. But little do they know – you already know.
You try so hard to empathize with them to understand their pain but you know that, no matter how much you think you understand you actually don’t. You can never fully comprehend the magnitude of their pain. When a person suffers, you can never fathom it, because you’re not the same person, even if you’ve experienced the same situation, you and them are completely different people and thus – your reactions and thinking process aren’t the same. That pain? You haven’t experienced it. You haven’t endured it. It hasn’t befallen you.
Other days though, that pain befalls you, the same type of pain yet not the same magnitude of pain. Sometimes you choose to stay silent, you choose to hide it from your world and everyone within it. You don’t want them to witness you fall. You feel all alone, like there’s this uncontrollable ache inside of you, especially knowing that they can never empathize with you. They wont fathom that pain because of one thing and only one thing. They haven’t endured the same ache.
Then there’s the final phase, when it’s too much to bear. At those times, the pain finds its way to your heart. At those times you feel tired, you feel like its been too long, too much, too soon, and too heavy for you to carry silently. At those times you can no longer conceal your pain from the world. You unravel it, just bits and pieces of it. Sometimes you unravel it through your words, and other times through your eyes. Sometimes– just sometimes–you unravel it through your tears. That’s when you can truly tell that it has the heart.