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To toil is the price of creation. A painting, poem, piece of music or building might all be made with small steps that take a toll. Each incremental addition to them both brutal and painstaking. But then, the building is beautiful. Perhaps more than that, it functions. It’s solid. It works. What then of the painful emotions we live through? Emotional pain is an attention-seeker. It demands the spotlight of our lives. That addictive focus it elicits stops us from seeing what is being slowly built. When we step back from them and see the totality of what they’ve made — it can be similarly beautiful. In fact, it usually is. They are small steps towards something bigger, though it rarely feels that way at the time. A brushstroke of betrayal. Some insecurity bricks cemented together with self-doubt. Couple of erratic chord changes: IDGAF to I care way too much about this. Small punishing parts of a greater whole. It is surprising to see something emergent — something more than the sum of parts that didn’t even feel like parts of anything at all in the moment. But it’s there. It’s there, waiting to be appreciated when you step back far enough to see it.