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Can pain bring joy?

We often are witness to those painful aspects of life, those which bring hurt and damage to both the victim and the inflictor.  The former, intertwined in a web with the latter, woven around injury, only to be confounded by an inevitable tangle of lines and curves.  It can be hard at times to see the beginning point of this labyrinth, as often is the case when a web becomes intertwined with debris and the remains of the wreckage.  The symmetry vanishes.  Things fall apart.  Such is the way of life sometimes.

An anxious little one told me from the get-go that his belly was sore today.  Could he go home please?  I knew immediately why.  It was the “incident.”   The violation that occurred yesterday.  He was not overtly referring to what had happened, but a teacher knows these things without even being told.  I read fear all over his little face.  I could have sobbed myself for his loss of innocence, the free-spirited clarity of yesterday.  I wished for nothing more than to go back in time and reverse those memories, subliminal as they might be even at this given time.  For him, they were still there.  Below the surface.

How tender are one’s feelings, how easily bruised.  How raw our emotions, and how heartfelt the apologies that ensue.  To witness, one who hurts another and to see the aftermath, the collateral damage for both parties involved.  It is painful.  It hurts.  We all feel the searing knife.

Another little one sat in front of me later in the day and cried.  He, the inflictor.  He thought he would be sent away, never to return.  Someone would come and take him far away because he had acted wrongly.  It was then, when the tears welled up in his eyes and burst forth, that the dam of my heart too broke for this little one.  My Mommy heart wished to do nothing more than comfort and love away the pain, the memories.  I could not change the actions, the course of time already had unfolded and time can never be reversed.  The damage has certainly been done.  But now is a time for forgiveness and a new beginning.

This change inside, the pulling on my heart strings, surprised me.  Moments before, I had sensed no pity from myself toward this little one, and might I say I had even felt slight revulsion toward the child.  And yet, as I watched the course of an interrogation take on a life of its own, I experienced something akin to understanding.  This I understand: to be a pariah is to feel loneliness, fear and isolation.  To be without.   To be on the outside, yes, for some good reasons.  Yet there are decisions in our lives of which we are unable to fully have control.   Sometimes our path is already laid before us, it was chosen for us by others.  We can do not, but to take the path down which we were destined to sojourn, no matter how unfortunate that choice might be.


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