I live in constant chronic pain. I hit the jackpot with all three types, muscular, skeletal, and nerve! WOOHOO! If I had been born 50 years earlier I would have been called a cripple. I would have been homebound...ALL THE TIME, by the extreme levels of this sensation that we call pain.
Pain has a purpose. Pain tells us to take care of whatever happens to be hurting. My nephew as a small boy stepped on a multi pronged fishhook that settled deep into his toe. I was the only available adult in my family at the time. It was NOT fun to take that sweet young boy to a doctor knowing that it would be a painful experience.
On the other hand, if that fishhook did not hurt? What if he had just merrily gone along his way? Of course, the toe would have become infected, which would have turned very nasty, and he may have lost his toe or more of his body. PAIN HAS A PURPOSE!
I do not, and will not believe that a healthy mind looks for ways to experience pain. If you see pain as a joyous experience, well, that's a subject for someone much wiser than I am! I guess we can use for an example the character in Little Shop of Horror's who ADORES going to the dentist. That's enough said about that!
Here is a question? Why on earth would a person with a reasonably healthy mind praise pain? My husband once told me that he had decided, "Pain is just a sensation. It doesn't have to be defined as good or bad. It's just a different way to feel."
He was far more evolved than I am. I dislike intensely feeling pain. Yet I have learned in my journey that when I awaken in the morning instead of cursing the pain that I feel, praising the medicine that will help me feel closer to normal (whatever normal means...I guess normal for me), begins my day on a positive plane.
There are always things to praise. I praise the chance to live in a new day. I praise the chance to be close to my family. I praise the Christmas holidays and all of the joy that they bring.
I have found that praising, giving active thanks, is like having a key that unlocks secret doors. In the book/movie, "The Secret Garden," the adorable young girl finds a lost key to a garden that has been allowed to grow over, and turn into a secret patch of weeds. She has lost both of her parents and lives with an uncle who is entirely morose and rarely home. The key to the garden opens her soul to a plethora of opportunity for praise and gratitude.
I am continually touched and amazed at the secret gardens that have opened to my vision as I discover the key through difficulty, and pain. Within those experiences of feeling far less than I would like to feel, I find ways to connect and understand my brothers and sisters of the human race.
I have learned the things in life that REALLY matter. Trust me, financial wealth, a fancy house, and spiffy cars, well they are nice (I'm not completely crazy), but they are not even close to the most important things in life.
The things that I cling to as I focus on praise and not pain, are many more than I wish to discuss in this post. The number one praise worthy gift is faith. It is a most simple word, with a multitude of meanings. The faith that I refer to is an active power. It has the power to help you push through all of the most difficult things that life can hand you. The following are but a few types of this faith infused with a real power that I am referring to. Faith in God, however you may perceive him or her, faith in family, faith in yourself, and your capacity for overcoming, these types of faith give life meaning, and color.
I already mentioned praise, and it stands as the title at the top of the column for this discussion. This week I will touch on one or two other doors that can be opened by the seemingly negative experiences that life can hold.