It’s easy to get so distracted by the task of “figuring out” our life that we somehow manage to slip right out of its depth and fullness without even realizing it.

It’s natural to become so focused on our plan for this moment that we actually forget how to be present in it.

It’s comfortable to curl up on the superficial surface of things, convincing ourselves that the empty inboxes, the relentless push notifications and the completed to-do lists really are enough. That we’ll be less distracted tomorrow. That busy is as good as it gets.

When in reality, busy is actually as easy it gets.

Because even harder than juggling all the schedules or accomplishing all the tasks is finding the courage to acknowledge to ourselves the very real, very persistent, low-level pain that tugs at us when we’re merely skimming the surface of life. The discomfort we don’t understand. The agitation we can’t explain. The anxiety that has no obvious source.

Our natural inclination is to ignore these subtle aches. To turn our back on them, hoping they’ll go away on their own. But the problem with ignoring our pain, friends, is that what we refuse to acknowledge is unable to transform us.

So today, let’s not be afraid to dive a little deeper into ourselves. To open our eyes once we get there. To explore whatever nagging truth may be tugging at our restless hearts from beneath the surface of our daily grind. Let’s remember that growth is always uncomfortable. That lifelines can often feel a lot like lightning bolts. And that sometimes, pain is the only thing strong enough to pierce through that flawed and all too familiar notion that “good enough” is somehow actually good enough.

Because the truth is, friends, no matter how terrifying or uncertain or unpleasant it may be, the pain is never the end.

It’s only the beginning.