Yesterday I sat with a man deeply in pain. I knew that, as he shared his fears and cried real tears, he believed that I saw weakness. What he didn’t know was that I only saw beauty.
Because of what was said to him…about him…this man was in his own suffering. He was doubting his brilliance. He was fearing what was next. He was having his heart broken by those he’d only ever hoped to impress and gain the respect of. He was faced with old wounds being torn open. A little boy with no father. A racing mind that is easily misunderstood by those who won’t take the time to listen. Being “too much” for others.
So much pain…and so much beauty.
I saw was a grown man, coming to terms with his own hurt in order to not allow the hurt to transfer to others. I heard him speak to his own pain in a way that his peers, young men in the world, could never do. I felt the rawness coming through as he showed me his most vulnerable places in a way that many humans never attempt, much less practice.
The beauty of this man comes through in how he moves about in the world.
He cultivates each relationship to ensure that every person he cares about feels seen, heard, and special. He is warm and generous with his laughter, affection, and kindness. He is quick with a hug, a pat on the back, or a fist bump. He celebrates small achievements and big moments of others with endless amounts of passion. He pours ideas out into the air and sees which ones he can turn into reality. He does not try to fit a pattern that someone else lays out for him. He is a leader. And he is loved by those that matter.
This man will meet those who do no understand him. He will come face to face with other men who cannot go as deep, and therefore find him an irritant. Some will tell him that he doesn’t listen, even as he is not being heard. And lesser men will always try to put him in his place.
But fortunately they don’t get to decide his place. They have no say in who this man is. Their voices are not the ones that matter in the short run or the long run. They are just not that important.
Pain was yesterday.
Today he will rise up. He will not be told what to do. He will listen to the voices that matter and ignore the rest. He will instead follow the path that his heart and mind make for him. The path will bend along a curve drawn only for him. And along the way there will be more pain and so much more god damn beauty.
So…dry your eyes. Calm your beating heart. Hold your head up high. And walk the fuck away. Away from the pain and directly into the beauty.