How is it that thou canst weep, seeing thou art holy, and from all eternity to all eternity? (Moses 7:29)
I don't think there's anything more painful than watching someone I love suffer and feeling helpless to ease their sorrow.
There are pain medications to dull the pain of appendicitis. There is peace and love from God even when my own sins have wracked me with torment, or when I feel alone and lost and frustrated with the world.
But there is no way to numb the pain I feel for others without also numbing the love I have for them.
Emotions can't be turned off one by one. To stop the pain, I would have to go numb.
I've been numb before.
During high school, overwhelmed with the guilt of addiction, inadequacy, and depression, I turned off my feelings. Not all of them. Just enough to be able to get through a day. Or an hour. Or a moment. All that life seemed to offer was pain... and I didn't want to kill myself. So I became numb. Those were the only two options I saw, and since no one else knew, I had no one to tell me otherwise.
And, for a while, it worked. Bottling up all my feelings made life easier. Simpler. Instead of making choices based on passion, I just did what I thought was best. And the pain disappeared into the background. But so did love and everything good in life. When the world offered me the chance to be a performer or study physics, I chose physics... because it was stable, secure, and rigorous. I didn't ask myself what I wanted to do. Maybe I took my love out of the drawer and looked at it for a moment, but ultimately I put it back away.
I didn't believe I could handle it. Loving myself, people, the world, and life, so much... and watching so much pain.
But numbness hurts even more than having a broken heart.
Numbness pulls the meaning from life entirely... and makes it impossible to laugh, to smile, to dance and enjoy the moment. Nothing matters when I'm numb, and when nothing matters, life, as a whole, is awful.
At least when I'm in love, I can see the minuscule good things in life... if I'm willing to look for them. When I let myself love and hope, I have feelings for people. Motivation to do whatever I can to help them find happiness... and a willingness to find any cure for their pains. I would climb a mountain or change the world to see them smile. Yes, love opens the door to pain. Pain so intense that it rips me apart and makes me want to take something to numb my life again.
But it's better to have loved, and lost, and gone through the incredible torment that brings, then to never have loved at all.