We all feel.
When I was eleven years old I was hit in the head with a baseball bat. It was an accident and my fault. I was playing baseball with a few kids from the neighborhood in the backyard of our home on Locust Street in Victoria, Texas. I was catching. I did not think my playmate would swing at the badly pitched ball and I moved forward. She did swing and hit me with full force on my left temple.
The blow to my head hurt so bad I cried and cried. My skull pounded for hours and my vision was blurry. I was sick to my stomach and thought I would faint. Although I was not taken to the doctor, I am certain I suffered a concussion. I know for sure the violent blow permanently injured my neck and jaw as decades later I live in constant discomfort.
This painful childhood experience taught me several valuable lessons. I don’t make assumptions about people or circumstances. Assuming what someone might do, or what may happen, is not a responsible or reliable way to make decisions. I learned early in life it’s better to wait and see, rather than assume what might be.
I also learned no one gets up from being hit in the head like we see them do in violent video games, on television, or in the movies. A shock to our physical system from a traumatic injury knocks us to our knees. The pain crumples us completely. We cannot help but cry, or scream, or faint as our body’s spontaneous reaction is immediate and uncontrollable. And, once the initial intensity of bodily pain quiets down, our aches can serve to remind us, in a helpful way, everyone and all life, feels.
The physical pain I live with helps keep my heart open so I readily sympathize with the aches and pains of others. The persistent discomfort from this old injury causes me to not want anyone or anything to feel pain. Certainly not as a result of my careless and thoughtless actions. The ever-present pain helps drive my devotion to being gentle, kind, compassionate, and responsible for myself so I treat others as I want to be treated.