The Gift of Pain
March 26, 2015
“Be sure and stay ahead of the pain.” Words from the pharmacist years ago as I picked up yet another bottle of addictive pain medication for my 20 year old daughter who had recently had her tonsils removed. Being a “push through the pain” kind of girl, I asked her just what the hell that meant anyway. It seemed to me that having the courage to tough it out was the better approach. One to be proud of and that showed the strong stuff of which I am made. “The body, when faced with the choice of dealing with the pain, or healing the injury, can only focus on one of those and, in the proper order” she replied. ” Resolve the pain. Heal the patient.” In other words healing is hindered when pain is ignored. Heading back home, I resolved to help her heal by helping her resolve her pain.
Our bodies are but a microcosm of the greater whole. Found embodied in our relationships and in the body of the world, pain is everywhere. Close to home and in the farthest reaches of the world. It is within our hearts and our homes, amidst our communities and countries, in the halls of our organizations and schools. Unresolved pain is wracking our planet and threatening our shared futures large and small, and is an indication that there is healing to be done.
Pain hurts. Deeply. Acutely. Sharply. Chronically. Our natural reaction to pain is to avoid it. Afraid of the hurt we react in fear, provoking ancient coping mechanisms. Fight, flight or freeze.
Putting up our dukes and hitting back causes further injury.
Running for cover furthers us from the healing we long for, but can’t see because we are facing the wrong direction.
Hunkering down and refusing to budge drives pain deeper and healing further away.
When it comes to resolving the pain in our lives, none of those lead to the healing that is waiting for us on the other side. Wherever the pain exists, it is calling us to attend to it fully, in order to more fully live. It requires that we dive deeply into the pain in order to get to the bottom of it.
Pain is our call to action in order to heal that which is broken.
Pain is the canary in the mine alerting us that we are running out of air.
Pain is the lighthouse exposing the rocks which will dash our ship to pieces if we don’t steer with care.
Pain is the warning sign alerting us to dangers ahead.
Pain is the breadcrumb path that leads to wholeness.
Pain is the care package that must be unwrapped in order to receive the gift of healing.
Healing trumps holding on to old hurts.
Healing beats clinging to our stories that keep us stuck in old chapters.
Healing always outlasts winning.
Healing outshines the darkness of resentment.
Healing is a cut above the festering wounds of unforgiveness.
Healing forges wholeness out of the holes in our hearts.
Wherever the pain, it is the doorway through which healing awaits. Pain speaks the truth. The truth sets us free.