Thereís a story old women tell in Eastern Europe or the Middle-East. I canít remember which and it doesnít really matter. A story told by old women in one of those places where old women Ė mothers and grandmothers, sisters and wives Ė understand suffering.
I may embellish it in the telling, but that doesnít really matter either.
The things that have hurt you, the old women say, will never leave you. They talk about a box.
You canít keep that pain inside all the time, nor can you keep looking at it, so you put it in a box. You canít rid yourself of it, but it can no longer touch you. Itís part of you but outside you.
Youíre attached to the box Ė maybe by an umbilical cord. To move anywhere you have to carry it. Occasionally, it will get too heavy Ė youíve been living life one-handed Ė and youíll have to set it down.
This is when you stop, open the box, and remind yourself whatís inside. You remind yourself itís real, a part of you, and that youíve been able to bear it.
There will be more in the box than last time you looked. If youíve been paying attention the new pain will be different. Variety is important here Ė you donít need to carry too much of any one thing.
If youíve been paying attention youíll have learned not to let anyone load you up unnecessarily.
Youíll also have noticed you canít carry anyone elseís box and nobody can carry yours Ė but by some mystery the right two people can make each otherís seem lighter.
You breathe deep, close the box, pick it up with one hand and Ė holding, if youíre lucky, someone elseís free hand in your own Ė you carry on.
Nice story.