What is pain? And more importantly, why is pain?
All the pain that you have ever felt- may it be as a child who could not get what he wanted or as one who was denied love or as one whose children left him forsaken at old age- all these different stages of pain, you separated and gave magnitudes to. Consequently, the reasons you arrived at, to understand why each particular suffering fell upon you; they were given stages and magnitudes too.
Because of this separation, you missed the larger and universal purpose of every single drop of pain that you tasted.
You see, they say that there can be no true goodness, beauty or gentleness within you if you don’t go through pain. As if the compassion and love you have developed for the world is credited to your suffering and all the nightmares that you had to live through. How can one thing so repelling be the foundation upon which you became beautiful? And more so, if you have conquered suffering by still staying gentle, isn’t that your own doing?
Pain does not come to you to make you beautiful or ugly. It does not have that power.
The sole purpose of all pain is to break you open so that your soul stands bare in front of the truth it has been seeking.
And at that moment, it is you who shall choose to embrace that truth and become wiser; or reject it and fall into bitterness and folly.
This is why all goodness and all evil has a painful past. The ones who are strong enough to break their ego and look at the truth that their pain has brought before them are the ones who attain beauty and gentleness. But the ones who are too afraid of their nakedness and vulnerability immediately start to build new walls around themselves instead of understanding why the old ones were shattered.
So remember, when pain comes your way, do not be afraid of it and do not hide yourself thinking that you must not show your vulnerability. No one can see it without your consent. It is only between you and God until you become the one to go around in self-pity asking for people to praise you through your suffering. But even so, know that having a visible openness is better than having none at all, and the best of them is the openness you keep to yourself not desiring love and praise from any other except Him. This kind, even when shared with your most loved few, is selfless and pure.
And when you have learnt to deal this way with your suffering, look beyond it and see the truth that your walls were not letting you see.
In order to gain true knowledge and grasp the secrets of the universe, you have to be bare and vulnerable in your own self, your “Batin” but complete on the outside, the “Zahir”. This is what lovers of truth and wisdom have mastered. Rumi says, “You have to keep breaking your heart until it opens.” This means that there will come a point when you have allowed your suffering and pain to make you so utterly bare in the face of truth that you will cease to build any walls. You will no longer need pain to teach you how to learn but you will be your own teacher. And you will be grateful for all good or bad that comes your way.