Four year ago, during one of a zillion rinses to my worldview, I made a change in my belief about pain. I now believe that “Peace comes on the other side of acute pain.” Here’s what I mean. Peace begins with a “moment of surrender” where we come to grips with the fact that we are not in control. If you and I aren’t, who is? Answering this thoughtfully will be more painful than ignoring these thoughts in your everyday, numbing them on your overwhelming days, and distracting yourself on the days that are in between.
Ignoring, distracting, and numbing are less painful today. Ignoring, distracting, and numbing are less painful, most likely, tomorrow. Ignoring, distracting, and numbing will work for awhile. Suddenly they will stop working and the pain will feel unbearable.
Picture a person with lower back pain and slow but steady weight gain.
Ignoring it works for awhile, until the pain gets too great. Clever distractions make it more comfortable until nothing novel remains and even the iphone, ipad, Facebook, and youtube seem so yesterday. Numbing works the best until alcohol isn’t enough, pot takes too long, and oxycotin hits require more, more, more. Suddenly the spine collapses and nothing seems to work. The temporary peace this person had enjoyed was never real, never theirs, and not for long.
Picture that same person facing their lower back pain and deciding to inflict more acute pain on purpose. This person decides to eat less and plank more. This will hurt a whole lot more than ignoring, distracting, and numbing. Acute pain will come in regular, jarring doses. Doses of this persons choosing, funny enough. Someday, however, this person will begin to gain strength in their core and the pressure on their spine will lessen. They will feel the difference. They will know that their choices have made a difference. They will feel some semblance of “peace on the other side of pain.”
And, armed with this experience, this same person will face another form of pain, inflict more acute pain on purpose, and slowly arrive on the other side again. More, more, more momentum will build within. I believe peace is possible, it’s just found on the other side of pain – acute pain. What do you believe? What does your action, today, tell me about your beliefs? Your behaviors reflect beliefs. Slow down and reflect.
Thomas Carlye once said, “Doubt of any kind, can be ended by action alone.” So, don’t take my word for it, act into your chronic pain. Don’t do what you’ve been doing and procrastinate. Act. Act into some acute pain to eradicate some chronic. You choose, of course. Your choices have consequences. Good…