you know how when you want to make sure you aren’t dreaming, you pinch yourself? sure it hurts for a second, and if the reality is really that unbelievable maybe for awhile longer — but you’re willing to endure the pain. we all are.
because the resultant wince, the instinctual moue of the lips, the tender rubbing of the pinched skin — that pain reassures us. it proves to us that this is reality, that we are not dreaming.
the pain is mitigated by the knowledge it grants us. for without that knowledge we are left to wonder if what we are experiencing is really true — caught on the fence of disbelief we are torn between doubting the reality or embracing it. we watch the events unfold in front of our eyes, almost as if in a movie — slightly removed from the scene. we hold ourselves back from witnessing the full extent of what is transpiring. without the knowledge that this is true, that this is real . . . we are afraid to partake in it fully. that painful pinch reassures us and sets us free — we know that what we see is real and so we are unafraid to believe in it and to actually experience it.
life’s the same way. hurt reminds us that we can feel, it reminds us that we are alive and that we are human. trying to keep life at bay may prevent us from feeling the pain inherent in living, but it reduces us to mere spectators in the events of our lives.