The hardest part of pain is watching it hurt someone you love. The idea that one can endure more, strive harder, persist much longer, is more appealing that watching from the sidelines. No wonder some of the most atrocious forms of torture is to hurt someone close to the intended target.
Samuel L. Jackson in the movie, Unthinkable, was the epitome of this. He baited his victim with the basic approach to torture, and then finally switched to this psychological form torture.
Two ways this form of pain occurs in life is firstly in mental challenges, and then pain inflicted on loved ones. Mental challenges are particularly strenuous as they exert stress, not on one’s physical muscles which can be flexed and pushed to extreme limits, but on the mind. There are times during exams where one wishes it was a race or sporting activity instead. Because in such a situation, a person can run harder, grunt louder, stretch a little further, or endure some more. But in mental exercises, there is no physical exertion of strength, neither can the stress be quantified.
The pain of someone hurting is very similar to the mental exercise as it again, exists outside the domain of one’s body. Watching someone else have to endure pain that you cannot help carry, is a high form of torture. Especially someone close to one’s heart.
In all this, we must seek solace. A clear head and straight mind. This is one way to get through mental stress. And when the pain we dread, is found in someone we care about, we must love them hard. That though we can not relieve them of the hurt they feel, we would be there to make every other thing perfect. We would be there to soothe their hurt with love.