"Do now, do now, what you will wish to have done when your moment comes to die." [St. Angela Merici]

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

3 Clues You Might Be Prolonging Your Pain

By Micky Wolf
We do it more often than we care to admit—put up with, or tolerate one kind of pain, in order to avoid another we believe will be much worse.

Reminds me of when my adult children were toddlers. Summertime provided the optimal environment for emptying a box (or more) of bandages.

In the rare circumstance the sticky strip lasted more than a day or two, the time came for Mommy or Daddy to remove the raggedy-edged remnant. “Go slow! It won’t hurt so much!” was the oft heard plea as they trembled in fear of what was about to happen.

By now, the bit of messy goo had become one with their soft, tender skin, which meant we would gingerly lift a corner and begin the peel, all of which elicited a different kind pain made possible by the ensuing gritting noises only a seven year old can make, absent a full set of molars.

Pain is part of life with our first screams in the delivery room. The reality is, our minds, bodies, thoughts, and emotions speak volumes to us every minute of every day whether we want to admit it or not. And it’s also true most of these stirrings or flutters don’t require much, if any, of our attention for any reason.

On the other hand, most of us don’t have to think too long and hard to come up with example(s) when we tried to tough it out with some kind of (minor) pain only to face a serious issue further down the road.

For some that has had a tragic outcome. The person who ignores the lump. The individual who tries to self-diagnose, even medicate, for a variety of reasonable reasons. The one who decides being tired all the time must be part of getting old rather than an early, subtle sign of clinical depression.

Regardless of the kind of pain we are experiencing, taking the time and having the courage to get to the root issues will go a long way in determining the extent of what we must endure or the action we need to take in order to find relief.

3 points to consider:

...There’s a difference between putting a bandage on every little bump or bruise, ache or pain and attending to those—physical, intellectual, emotional or spiritual—that truly need our attention.

...Once the bandage has served its purpose (literally or metaphorically), we need to gently grab a corner and remove it without delay, acknowledging that if the wound is still painful, we would be well-advised to seek professional help, sooner rather than later.

…More often than not, it’s the fear of dealing with a deeper issue in need of our undivided attention that we are choosing to delay. The truly amazing thing about all this is the depths and extent many of us will go to for the sake of prolonging that part of the process as long as possible.

Thankfully, this not the end of the story.

The greater Truth is to remember the One who breathed us into being never intended for us to suffer day after day, held captive by pain that is the consequence of self-inflicted fear.

Let us take comfort in knowing the Divine is committed to persevering with us to healing and wholeness.

And then be brave and grab that bandage in one fell swoop.


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