Alexander Sylvester

Introspective Musings

# 5

Necessary Pain

explore, create

Our experiences, stories and introspective journey's are most powerful when shared and discussed. It is here that I want to share an intimate, personal experience with others instead of clawing through the noise of social media feeds. Couple with the visual art I've produced over the years, Introspective Musings is the bridge between audience and artist; a written account of how these visions come to be.

Necessary Pain

Heartache, 11x14 ink on paper, 2020

There’s something cathartic in allowing room for pain. There’s something about embracing anguish, fear, anger and everything in between that never feels quite right, but necessary all at once. There’s something about the process of opening your wounds so they may be properly cleaned and stitched back together. Somehow this makes healing at least minimally tolerable.

Often it comes in tsunami like waves, one after another; relentless torrential onslaught that is eventually met by a strangely serene calm. Followed by reflection and introspection, as a means of fortifying the spirit for another trip ‘round. Waves crashing, calm settling. Back and forth, until skin thickened and spirit revived. 

We need pain, we need loss, we need hurt. It’s our beacon of contrast which allows room for the work required to grasp onto the traces of life affirming inner strength. Without that contrast, we are too easily seduced by stagnation. And falling for the trap in which progress and growth can not escape, we become weaker as we forfeit ourselves to passivity. 

I know it hurts now, I know that it feels like the endless depths that pain permeates seems to traverse through the infinite. I know how you feel, for I feel it too. Because in this particular year we’ve been plagued by a default of stress through disease, political upheaval, corruption and a constant stream of negative experience through exposure to the rest of the world's woes. Any and all new difficulties or disruptions to our day to day status quo comes at a higher price, as our lives already have experienced a great deal of sorrow. But even without these things, you and I would still end up experiencing individual emotional distress in some sense. 

So please be kind to yourself. Feel your pain, experience your anguish and allow it to pass through you. Allow room for your heart to break, allow time the necessary grace to carry you forward. Cry, scream and clench your teeth if you need to. Exude emotion, bleed yearning for what once was. It’s okay to feel. It’s okay to be upset. As the cliche goes, life finds a way. We learn to use our seemingly unbearable emotions to build resilience and live another day. 

Allow yourself to feel so you may remain human for a while longer. 

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