So I was looking for another short quote to use for calligraphy practice. Instead of heading over to trusty, old Google, I decided to look for book quotes I ‘clipped’ on my Kindle. And this caught my fancy.

As it was my habit to put the name of the author [of the quote I write], I spent quite a few minutes going back and forth between the ebook and the clipping. For the record, the ebook was The Assassin’s Blade, a Throne of Glass novella by the wicked Sarah J. Maas. I looked at the location, and sure enough a whole paragraph was highlighted. But it wasn’t the quote I wrote. I went several pages more back and forth, and still I could not find those exact words anywhere. I was kinda mystified.

Then I noticed that the highlighted quote has a number at the end. Clicked on that, and there it was. Turns out what I wrote was not really part of the book. Rather, it was my own note regarding the highlighted passages. They were simple enough words, yes, but I deemed them powerful, not knowing they were my own words. My own words. I’m kinda shocked. Like, wow. ?

Gawking aside, I am now not so sure what to make of that quote. As an average human being, I’ve had my share of pain. And the most major of mine can be categorized into two: (1) that sharp, killing pain when my then-best friend left/betrayed me, and (2) the low-key but festering pain of being made to feel that I’ll never be good enough.

In terms of the former, that pain brought out the writer in me. I mean, I’ve been writing most of my lucid life, but never as well as when I was in thrall of that darkness. My best works were the products of my tears and every negative emotion I had. The hurt, the helplessness, the rage, the fury… That’s not even a redundancy because I was just that angry at the time. They all translated into powerful words, my own dark art. In a sense, I became better because of that pain.

The latter is another story. It’s almost dull compared to the blinding nature of the other. It’s the accumulation of seemingly mundane tiny hurts. But over time and taken as a whole, did much more damage. So much more. Like a wound left untreated, it got infected and festered, eating away at the flesh. And the result? A weakened personality. Something with a piece always missing–a hole that can never be filled.

So.. what does all this make me?

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10 thoughts on “What you make of pain defines who you are.

  1. It makes you strong. And gives you a strength that lots of have and can relate to — but we don’t necessarily recognize it strength. We feel weak, but we aren’t. We’ve kept on through all of those hurts and those soul-deep sorrows. And we’re still here — still standing. Even though we may feel inadequate, it’s important to remind ourselves and one another that we are each special, worthwhile, and full of potential.

    And yes, I can relate to writing some of my deepest, arguably best prose, when suffering through some serious darkness. It’s the mark of the writer.

    Hang in there!

  2. Interesting thoughts on pain. I do feel that in times of pain you’re really depending on yourself. Getting to know yourself. And learning how you respond in situations like that. It does tell a bit about what you do and who you are. But not completely I think. I do think that the positive things make us survive and help us through hard times. This helps to define what we can handle. I do love this quote from the TV show Sons of Anarchy: “There’s an old saying – that which doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, I don’t believe that. I think the things that try to kill you make you angry and sad. Strength comes from the good things, your family, your friends, the satisfaction of hard work. Those are the things that will keep you whole, those are the things to hold onto when you’re broken.”

  3. Such a powerful quote. Pain usually works 1 or 2 ways..motivating or de-motivating, however it does sometimes bring us to a place of limbo where we hover between both…

  4. It’s a beautiful and true words. The pain gives us the strength and courage to endure. It gives our life s new meaning. well, let’s make it positive and with hopes. And I love your calligraphy as much as your Own words 🙂
    Keep going!

  5. Your miseries are what makes you, you! Very true; if one knows how to handle the worst of their worst situation, then the person has understood themselves and their true potential to face life and it’s challenges! I am on the same boat you dear 🙂

  6. There are various pain in life that I deem would either make or break us. I’ve had some pain too and that caused a ripple effect; my trust issues got worse bit by bit. Then, here comes anxiety and depression. It’s really painful when the people we thought are the true friends we have are the ones who’ll betray you. So now, I direct the energy in helping people through my blog, calligraphy and everything in between.

  7. No one loves to feel the pain, at least most of people don’t. But pain can have some positive sides too. It shows your strength and capabilities. And once it passes it will make you even more resiliant.

  8. Love this life quote shared by you here, I absolutely agree with it. Am a quote collector, will keep all quotes that I read & observed from traveling. Then, once in a white reading them to keep myself reminding of each 🙂 At times, I will present the life quote with my own handrawn art too
    Cheers, SiennyLovesDrawing

  9. We draw a lot of emotions from our pain that enables us to write better ideas. I believe the best songs, the best stories, the best masterpieces are product of sadness and heartaches. I really don’t know how would I explain my reactions to pain,because from the very start, since I was young, I have accepted every pain as an essential part of my life,and that life isn’t this wonderful without the pain.

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