Sitting, we share poetry. Bits and pieces of our souls are spilled into the air of our local library, at an open mic event. Sifting through lines of varying shades of "good." We listen. Looking at the faces of those laughing, crying, and stoic... I saw and I learned.
Pain is life. For everyone it brings its own sting. Some experience the loss of a parent, grandparent, child, or friend. Others experience being abused by someone you should be able to trust. For some the greatest pain is hate of oneself. For still others being shunned by peers and experiencing bullying is apart of life. We all hurt, and it is all different. Even if you meet someone who has gone through the same circumstance as you, their experience is different.
For many of us in the world we cling to a higher power, something beyond ourselves. Not only christians do this, but Hindu, Islamic, and Buddhist religions look towards higher beings. Even those who don't believe in a God or supreme being(s) sometimes turn to science as a a higher source of truth. However, we sometimes forget to look beside us. Debates arise between people, and we set up walls and barriers. We claim our pain as ours. Sometimes it is what makes us feel "unique." But pain is one of the things that should really bind us.
Yes, a mother loosing her teenage daughter to a marriage full of abuse, and loneliness is different then a mother who watches her child move from California to New York. However, they are both mothers. Even if they cannot empathize, they can sympathize. We can hold each other, wipe tears, offer solace and simply... be there. We should look at each other as what we are, human. We are connected.
Those I shared my pain with, they didn't make a big deal, they didn't see me cry. But they looked into my eyes, and saw me. The walls that could have stood (my religion, gender attraction, schooling differences, dress, and appearance) were broken down between us. Maybe not forever, but for that moment. And that moment matters.