I once read a devotion in which the author gave an analogy that our hearts can become calloused just like our feet and hands. Our hands and feet become calloused through use, and the skin becomes tough and no longer tender. The process of developing a callous can be painful, but eventually the skin becomes toughened and no longer hurts.
Sometimes we long for a calloused heart to protect ourselves from pain. When we allow that to happen, then not only do we not feel pain, but we cannot feel the joyful side of emotion either. When our hands are calloused, it can be difficult to truly sense touch as we did before the calluses. If we allow calluses to form on our hearts, then we might not be able to fully experience love and joy and happiness.
The deep pain that we experience in life can be palpable. It is the pain that we are certain we cannot endure. The pain when the heart feels that it cannot continue to beat. When the lungs cannot fill with air. The pain is real. And it is physical, emotional, and spiritual. While sometimes the pain seems like more than we can bear, it means that we can also experience deep and meaningful love. It does not seem possible to have one without the other.
If we build callouses to shut out the pain, then we also have shut out the love from friends and even God. While I do not enjoy the painful times, I will accept them so that I can also bask in joy and love. I do not want to give up on love so that I can avoid pain. That is not fully living. So, I will take every second of the joyful and I will absorb it and store it so that when I need it, it will be salve.