"...(I)t's not that I don't suffer, it's that I know the unimportance of suffering, I know that pain is to be fought and thrown aside, not to be accepted as part of one's soul and as a permanent scar across one's view of existence."
- Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged
That phrase, "a permanent scar across one's view", caught my attention. I picture it almost like a veil with a red gash through it, coloring everything a person sees. How easy it is to let pain do that.
While I approve of her conclusion, I disagree with Ms. Rand's implication that suffering should be discarded entirely. I don't think that is possible, nor do I think it is wise. The past, both the good and bad, is an essential part of a person. To pretend that pain has never existed is to make oneself less than whole. Scars add dimension.
The scar is there, but how do I choose to wear it? Will I fold it up, tuck it somewhere quiet, and gaze at life unimpeded? Or will I cling to that pain, draping it around me as an identity, allowing the gauzy veil to hide me and color everything I see?