Touching the Center of My Pain

by Mary Ellen Collins

Scroll down this link to find the poem. Read this poem first. Then identify what moves you.

The Invitation by Oriah

I am moved by the phrase, “If you have touched the center of your sorrow.” How many of us have? Like a searing coal, burning with pain, sorrow sits before us and dares us to touch it. It glares and sneers, challenging us to come close.

Touching means hurting.

Hurting means pain.

Pain means tears. Didn’t someone say one time that tears are the windshield washers of our souls? Could tears put out the fire?

Oh, but that means I have to be vulnerable. Can I trust myself to be vulnerable with you?

If I am vulnerable, will you just listen and hold me? Love me and let me sit with my pain? Or will you try to fix me? Won’t you touch the hot searing coals with me?

There is so much at the center of my sorrow. Things I have locked away for years. I tend to think in pictures. I imagine the center of my sorrow as a grief closet that I have neatly deposited losses and pain over the years, carefully shutting, and locking the door. Bolting it. Using my energy to keep it secure. Hoping the door never comes open.

Shelves hold the tears from pains, griefs, and rejections that I have placed there and hope they will just stay. Everything from the death of my pink and blue chickens, Cheep and Chirp, to the loss of my mother and father before I was 15.

Keep that door closed?

Or will you help me touch the center of my pain?

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