Opening Closed Eyes

The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes. 

-Marcel Proust

My eyes cried tears of joy (not pain) last week–for the first time in years.

I’m better. I’m healing. I’m returning to life and life is returning to me.

I can walk, dance a little, play golf and laugh more. A whole lot more.

After years of pain tears . . . I don’t want to cry them anymore. I want to turn the page, start a new chapter, and read only forward. I want to close my eyes to my story of pain, and live only in the joy of my story of healing.

But you . . . you force open my closed eyes.

You who hurt. You who still suffer and shed pain tears that stream down your face and flood your life with fear, hopelessness, and despair.

I have chosen to sit with you, to share hope for healing, to make it my life’s purpose to serve you and help you in your healing journey as best I can.

You who hurt–you who open my closed eyes–you inspired me to cry again today. To read backwards and remember. To cry for me, and you, and all who suffer and hurt.

I can give you my knowledge, my skill, my training, and my hope. But that will never be enough–without giving you my heart.

I know you hurt. I’ve hurt too.

Exactly one year ago today I wrote this:


On Scrubbing and Swearing and Succumbing

I’m down on my knees scrubbing the soap scum in the tub, praying it won’t hurt this time. But it does, it always does.

My foot is taped up and my back is cinched together with a belt. So I can walk. Until it hurts; it always does.

I’m at the doctor/physical therapist/massage office again. Because I hurt. I always do.

My recent self-portrait.  A much younger, happier me!
My recent self-portrait–a much younger, happier me!


I’ve had surgery, needles, medicine, and treatments that were supposed to help. Two have disabled me, another one almost killed me. My healing becomes more complicated and elusive, and counting time behind or ahead only confuses me now. Pain and fatigue are constant companions, bad friends. There are days I battle them with all my might, days they relent and give me peace, and days I just lay down in the middle of the ring and quit.

On stormy days swear words want to scream out of the frustration in my belly…so people will hear, really hear, the reality of my struggle.

But I know—only one really hears, only one really knows.

I remember running, I remember the breeze against my face riding a bike along the river trail, sweat dripping into my eyes after a boot-camp workout.

I want to run. I want to dance. I want to climb my mountain, stand on the summit, and proclaim victory over the defeat that has tried to consume me. I want it to echo across the valley, bounce off the other mountaintops and return to me. So I too, can hear it.

These pains, this suffering, should be called out on strikes, ruled unfair, and banished to the out-of-bounds of my life. I was in the game, I played well. The other players beat me up—didn’t listen or care for me like I deserved, failed in their oaths to “do no harm.”

But none of that matters, here on my knees.

Why the pain, who caused the pain, when I will be relieved from pain.

Only Jesus matters.

He’s scrubbing away the scum.

Polishing, always polishing, the glory He desires to reveal.


You who hurt–thank you for opening the eyes of my heart.

I give you the tears of my heart and my prayers for your healing.

Hold on. Hold on. 

Your story is still being written. Your beauty polished.

And I believe with all my being, with all my heart, with all my suffering and all my joy . . . there is.

There is. There is . . . healing in the pain.

You who hurt–I cry today in awe of your courage.

~ Linda 

BPS Integrated TherapyI have recently returned to work as an occupational therapist, exclusively treating people in chronic pain. To find out more about my unique treatment approach visit me at

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