The Language of Life

I have spent my life enthusiastically trying to learn about people, why they hurt and feel they way they do. I studied books by famous authors to understand people’s unique characters, the way they think and act, yet there was still one area I could not fully grasp and that others could not teach me about- the human heart. I still couldn’t manage to relate to those who had been through a major heartbreak in their life, with suffering and going through pain.

When I listened I just knew I really did not understand and that there was a border between me really reaching them. I could surely listen, say what I could to tell them to be patient when life offers a bad hand, to carry on when their health seems to be failing but I could only go ‘so far’ and I had to stop there. It was as if we still spoke two different languages and I seemed to have difficulty with theirs.

My life changed drastically when I went through an accident with my knee a some time ago and every emotion, question and sorrow followed. One day I was young, energetic and full of life and the next I was confined to crutches and in the prison of my room. I shut out the world because it didn’t understand me.

I stayed up nights asking that famous question; “Why me” I fought viciously with life, why it would want to steal my joy from me and, “why me, of all people, had to have this happen”  I was plagued with worry about the future, if my knees would ever heal, if I would ever be able to walk like I did before, if I would ever be able to dance, run and do sports like I had always loved and was used to do and like I really believed I had the right to do.

I didn’t see how I could be happy in the hopeless and dreary situation I was in. The nights seemed too dark and the days carried little light but a gray mass of confusion in my mind.

I fought with my health and my continuous pain because I didn’t understand why I was made to go through this, I fought with myself and I fought with others who were trying to tell me to hold on and fight another day.

My physical and mental pain seemed to be killing me inside, killing my joy and my faith that it would all come to pass and the sun was just around the bend.

I went through my first traumatic operation and if that wasn’t enough, I had to follow up with another one a year later as the first hadn’t solved the problem.

In my desperation I then tried one thing a friend suggested to me: to focus outward. I began talking to people more, I began asking questions about others’ lives and discovering their stories. I began then to realize, after I started taking my eyes of myself and all my ‘terrible’ life’s conflicts, that I was not alone in my suffering. I began meeting people everywhere that had had similar health problems as me.

I even began meeting many people who had the exact same knee problem and discovered many people had their own secret sorrow as well. I began to realize I was not alone and that it wasn’t just me who had been chosen for that ‘mean’ blow in life.

I began to listen to others and the strangest thing was…I could feel what they felt. They would tell me about the pain they had been through and I could relate with them. I would sit at a bus stop and look at someone beside me and see that they were suffering inside…because I knew what pain looked and felt like. I began to see that through those days of fire and turmoil, through those nights of loneliness and despair I was being taught a new language-the language of suffering. I began understanding people in a way and it was like a whole new world had opened up to me. 

I still haven’t fully healed and I do suffer that same pain every day and maybe for the rest of my life, who knows? But now I have learned to see it through totally different eyes. Once I learned to stop living in my own world and fighting whatever had been given to me, I could then be able to see the priceless gift that I had been rewarded with.

Life isn’t easy and doesn’t always seem fair and we will all go through our own tests and trails- that’s life, but the prize of it all comes in looking outward and accepting that what you have been given is not a curse but a gift, a new wisdom and a new language.

Life is beautiful and you are blessed and you can be joyful and happy because there is life. If you do not fight what is given to you but take it and learn from it you may in turn become a more beautiful and softer person. For it is said that it is not in the healthy and easy times that build a man but it is in the difficult times that make a man strong.  Every loss can be followed by rich gain.

Let your own hurt make you reach out and help others with theirs. Once you really try to look around you will see that your neighbor, your colleague and your friends all have their secret sorrow that the world doesn’t know of and you can use your gift, your new language to be that strength and understanding person that they may really need.  

Learn to use what life has given you to make you into a softer, gentler and inwardly more beautiful person, it’s been tried and it is working for me. 


Author - Angela Koltes

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