I've been pressing repeat on Imagine Dragons' "Believer". The main refrain tells 'pain' to "break me down and build me up" and "make me a believer." Then "My life, my love, my job, they came from pain." The word 'believer' is left ambiguous.
I've had many conversations with my younger brother about the yin and the yang, how nothing can be complete without it's opposite. The conversation was always a little too metaphysical for my taste, but here I am recognizing that recently, for every laugh I have, I will have 20,000 tears hours later. The tears empty out my heart so that laughter can surface again, and the laughter is so much sweeter after the tears. So which one is better? Is it actually possible to have a better? As long as the pain does not become chronic and unable to manage, it is simply the darkness to the light, the empty to the full, the deep to the shallow.
Pain grounds us at times, and it inspires us to create art. Some of my best writing has come from pain I couldn't keep inside. It has a purpose.
Embracing pain and putting it in the necessary-for-life box is new to me, but it feels healthy. The walls I usually build around the pain to keep it from spreading also keep out the laughter, so then I'm left feeling nothing. Just a person constricted by walls in a maze of numbness.
Break me down and build me up, I'm a believer.