Most of the stories that spin my head--the conflicts, the twists, the what-might-happen-nexts--they aren't mine to live or to tell. I'm a supporting character, sure. But most of what I do these days is stand beside the protagonist and say "I'm here in the absence of answers, through every if and when."
We breathe in, then out, then in again. On some days, it's the best we can do.
I try to inhale hope and exhale fear, but I usually screw up the timing just like I do in yoga. Wait, what, we're supposed to be inhaling up, exhaling down? Damn. It's a wonder my lungs fill up at all.
I am fragile, raw and vulnerable. So are you. And yet we're all so quick to disguise ourselves as resilient, unshakable, as fine, everything's fine, and you?...
When I'm at the store, the hospital, the gym, I look for the other pairs of tired eyes. I don't know their stories, but I know a smile from a stranger never makes anything worse. (Unless it's a creepy stranger and a creepy smile, but I'm careful not to be creepy.)
Anyway, my point is that we're all somewhere on the spectrum of pain, and in those moments when we're only a 1 or a 2 and life feels okay, we can maybe hold the hands or smile at the eyes of the 8 out of 10s. And when it's our turn to be a a 7, 8 or 9, maybe we can answer honestly when asked "how's your pain today?"