If absence makes the heart grow fonder, pain makes the feelings even clearer.
Peyton Manning’s jersey is on the clearance rack. How sobering. It’s not even like he went out on top, a la John Elway or Jerry Seinfeld. He’s going to be wearing another team’s logo, and sooner rather than later. I think we all knew how special Peyton was, but it’s fascinating how clearly everyone can see and express it now that he’s gone.
Goodbye is a clarifying force.
Our former next door neighbor (and functionally adopted daughter) Maddie came for a visit this past weekend. She was a staple in our house and in our kids’ lives for nearly a decade. We loved her when she shared our space, but something about her move to Missouri last year gave clear voice to why she had been so important to our family. We could verbalize it. When she was gone.
Loss is a clarifying force.
My wife has been in Cambodia for a week now (this is day 8 if you’re keeping score at home). I cherish Mandy every single day, but her absence has impulsively rekindled the emotions that are far too often swallowed up in the mundane of everyday life. I know exactly why I love her. I can see it. Speak it. Write it. Feel it.
Pain is a clarifying force.
How do we live there all the time? In the clarity that only seems to come when something is gone? With a heightened awareness of how special something or someone really is when they’re actually with us?
I don’t really know. I suppose some of it is just human nature. We get so used to someone being there that the gift blends into the back drop. Like living in Colorado for so long you stop seeing Pike’s Peak.
But I also wonder if we’re just afraid of feeling.
No one has to tell us to avoid pain. It’s instinctive. But when we limit the downside emotions we numb joy, too. Appreciation. Honor. Elation. Happiness. Celebration. Delight. Pleasure.
Sometimes we don’t feel because it seems safer to stop feeling. And I don’t want to live that way.
Pain is clarifying. But what if we could learn to consistently live in that kind of clarity every day? Do you think it’s possible?