Some folks run to the doctor’s office at the least sign of a sniffle. Others are delivered to emergency rooms on stretchers, having resisted or ignored the discomfort and pain that may have been present for months, even years. Too often, we tend to look the other way when our body, mind, or emotions are sending subtle signals that something is amiss.
At the same time, the word ‘mental’ is terrifying enough for some people they resist or deny any possibility they could possibly have any ‘head’ issues that would be mitigated by good mental health services or one-on-one counseling with a therapist or psychologist. For others, the mere suggestion that a well-monitored medication protocol could be an important part of a holistic approach will be met with resistance and fear.
The same is true for our spiritual well-being. Sometimes the greatest healing can occur by giving a full confession of what we are thinking and feeling. Whether that happens in the midst of a praise and worship service in a church, in the presence of an ordained clergy, or sitting with a trained spiritual guide who can observe and with whom we can discern our ‘true state of being’, being willing to open ourselves to another can be invaluable in shedding the objective light of truth into the dark corners of our pain.
Commitment. Once we have accepted that we are in pain and have a reasonably clear understanding of the root cause of our suffering, we have another opportunity to make a choice.
Commitment is one of those nice sounding words—and one much harder to act upon. How true the old saying that you only get out of something what you are willing to put into it. I have learned that my while my head may be willing to commit to a change process, my heart needs to be fully engaged as well. The will to follow through is only the beginning. Choosing to take one step, then another, day in and day out, will result in the kind of outcomes that we could only dream of while we tried to appease or avoid pain and discomfort in the first place.
Pain can be the greatest incentive we will ever encounter as a means to make personal, positive change in our thoughts, feelings, choices and actions. For whatever else may have instigated my discomfort these past ten days or so, the truth is—pain is part of life. We are not powerless in contending with it. We are, however, responsible for the choices we make which may determine the intensity and duration of the kind of pain we will experience.
No more evasive action. Ouch! Sounds good to me!