Tears, pain and heartache, endless questions were the order of the day. Pain that he did not know when it would ever go away or even end. He was hopeful, hopeful that one day there would be rays of sunshine filling his space, his atmosphere. He looked forward to that day. Before then though, he needed a copping mechanism, one that would help him to get through the pain.

When Jared and I met, he seemed a jovial person, young at heart and he was passionate about life. Little did I know that behind all the charm and charisma was a lot of bottled pain and anguish. I looked at him one more time as we sat to have lunch and I could see that there was more than met the eye. I saw what someone saw through my eyes years back. Smiling but behind the smile was an untold story and that is what I saw. I wanted to ask so many questions, why he was hiding behind everything. It was not the right time nor was it the right place. We were here for totally unrelated issues and so my urge had to wait the right time.

I wanted to see him again but I did not know how. I called my mentor; he had introduced us after all. That must have been the best phone call made (I was to find out later). A brief talk and I had the number. I called Jared that evening on the drive home. He was happy to meet me and we agreed to meet that Saturday for lunch at his favorite hangout. We both love spaces, and open air so we interestingly picked a place that I go to just to clear my mind.

I picked him up on Saturday morning at his place of work. The drive was refreshing to say the least. Kris, Jared, Sammy and I were enjoying the outdoor fresh air. Why I literally decided to come with Kris and Sammy was the sole reason of having my support system with me. They have both known me for years now and when they met me, I was at my lowest and had lost meaning to life. They had seen me at my worst and they held my hand through the journey allowing me to heal. In their own words, it was my time to help someone heal from their pain.

We arrived at the venue, a warm welcome and accorded VIP treatment. I still marvel at the reception I receive in the many places that I visit. Our table is always at the balcony. Overlooking the beautiful slopes of Mt.Kenya and enjoying fresh air. Cold drinks, catching up on the week, looking forward to the weekend and planning the coming week. Laughter filled the air as we shared on the week and life in general. We had all taken different paths in life but in a twist of events we had all met and here, we were talking and enjoying ourselves.

I kept glancing at Jared, he was easy, relaxed and enjoying himself. I really wanted him to be at ease so that he will be able to speak. He was clearly enjoying the ambiance plus the food. We were all engaging and I did not realize that I was the only one talking. I must have spoken for about ten minutes straight when I noticed that Jared was shedding tears. That was the end of my conversation and the start of a new conversation.

He composed himself, took a minute then excused himself. He looked refreshed when he returned. Sitting down he started talking, the pain he had bottled in was so much I was wondering how he had managed to do it so well. I felt his pain, I was once there and I understood all the pain that he felt.

In between tears, he kept going, talking and more talking. He carefully explained all the details and events that led to today. Pain does two things, hurts you and changes you. His pain had done both, it had hurt him a great deal and changed him- changed him for the better we told him. He did not see that now but we assured him that it had changed him for the better. An hour or so later he was finished with his tale. We were all baffled but we understood him too well. We had had our own share of pain and had learnt how to deal with it and rise above   the pain.

We had finished our lunch and we were waiting for dessert. Before dessert, though we needed some laughter, to brighten the atmosphere. A walk to the garden enjoying nature and sampling the different bird species was what we needed. We opted to have our dessert served next to the garden by the fountain. The free flow of fresh air was refreshing and the rocking seats made it even better. Jared was now calm and smiling. There was so much to tell him but I needed to gather my thoughts and share only what he needed. Picking up where I left the conversation, I continued slowly narrating my story. I carefully detailed my healing process and all that it did to me. Healing from pain is not easy, making peace with what has happened is also not easy but understanding that it is not the end of life, now that is golden.

‘Time heals a wound, which is what you need to remember. He looked at me perplexed, as if I had said something crazy. I literally understood the expression. I was once there and not so many things were making sense. Give everything time, I repeated but even as you heal, go back and look at everything that happened. Acknowledge the wrong you did and apologize with it. Forgive yourself and the ones also who hurt you. Let go and move on knowing that it is not the end of life. It is the little things that matter. You will have good days and bad days. There will be days that the pain will hit you like a heat wave and drop you to the ground, you need those days because it those days that make you stronger. Then there will be good days, days that make you feel like you can conquer the world, in those days smile at the progress that you have made.

You know when you are ready to move past the pain, you will no longer be a prisoner of the pain and it will not hold you captive. There will be a sense of freedom, very little things will irritate you and consume your being. You will have grown through your pain and you will feel it when it is time. Grow through the pain and become stronger so that you can be of help to someone else.

Healing from pain.