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Lara Patangan contemplates how it's not the pain that makes it unique, but the way we find our way out that makes it interesting.

We all have a story and often we are afraid to tell it. It’s the part of us that doesn’t come up in our social media feeds or in casual conversation. I get that. I don’t tell all of mine. All any of us can do is share what we are comfortable with and hope whoever we trust doesn’t use it to cause pain. Most of us have already experienced enough of that.

I think I was in college when I first realized that everyone has a story that maybe is a little bit broken. It was a relief to know that other people had hurt and healed, or at least hurt and found hope again. Not because I didn’t have hope, but I just always hated the thought of being alone, different, and the only one. And, yet, I think we all feel like that sometimes.

Now, instead of feeling alone, I am sometimes overwhelmed by how much suffering exists in our world. Betrayal, pain, grief, disappointment, longing, and loss are part of our human experience.

What I realize is that despite life’s mistakes and meandering hurts, the universality of pain diminishes what feels monumental from defining to just one more destination on what we hope will be a long journey. Maybe that’s why God thought it was so important for his son to live our humanity. Jesus suffered beyond the comprehensible and yet it wasn’t what defined him. From conception through infinity, that was always love – not loss.

Everyone has a sad story. We just have different details, characters, and plot twists. It’s not the pain that makes it unique, it’s the way we find our way out that makes it interesting. It’s the way we forgive valiantly that is heroic. It’s the way we choose healing over hate that can inspire others to do the same. It’s the way we love through loss that we choose life. And, always, we should choose life.

I love to hear people’s stories, but it isn’t their pain that makes them interesting.


A friend who has recently been through a hard time said of her own hardships, “I now think it really isn’t interesting. But I am! I’m interesting and I have so much love to give.”

What the heck could I possibly say after that?

As always, love says it all.

vikas sawant 2018 pexels

Copyright 2020 Lara Patangan
Image: Vikas Sawant (2018), Pexels