Just when I think I have encountered more pain in life than any one person should be allowed, something else reminds me that pain is just a necessary and important part of life.

1.) Without pain, pleasure wouldn’t feel so sweet.
2.) Pain causes us to be honest.
3.) Pain builds strength.

Chew on that for a moment. Really, mull it over and let it settle because it’s so very important for you to know those things. I’ll be here waiting for you while you do that.

.
.
.
.
Are you still thinking?
.
.
.
.
.
Okay. Got it? Let me explain what these things mean to me:

Without pain, pleasure could not possibly feel so sweet.
About a week ago I was steaming some broccoli. When it came out of the microwave I took the saran wrap off the top and was taken by surprise by the billows of steam that poured from the bowl. (Insert facepalm here). While I didn’t have 3rd degree burns or anything, it hurt SO BAD. When I put my hand under cold water it was the best feeling I could have hoped for in that moment. Lets pretend that I DIDN’T burn my hand and just decided to put it under the faucet. Do you think I would have appreciated it? Nope. So, when you are really “in it”, when you can’t feel anything but pain, when you can’t get out of bed, when you have no words to say, and no more tears to cry try to remember that when you feel good again, you will feel like celebrating with gusto. I promise you. You will laugh again, and when you laugh it will be the kind of laugh that makes you cry and makes your abs feel like you just knocked out 100 crunches.

Pain causes us to be honest.
I saw this prose the other day that explained how honesty is so beautiful.

So many of us go through life trying to be something that we really are not. One time, Many times, I’ve tried to be perfect. That didn’t work so well, because honestly: I’m a MESS! Not literally. I keep the house decent. But emotionally, I am one margarita away from an ugly meltdown at all times. I am so very far from perfect. To pretend to be anything else is EXHAUSTING to me! It’s dishonest and it’s unfair to myself and to anyone who wants to know me, but there’s still part of me that wants to look like I’ve got it all together. People, let me tell ya’, I’ve been in pain. So much pain. It’s been debilitating. It’s like someone cut off my foot. It hurts. I’ve been grinning and bearing it. Yesterday I decided to just give in to it. I had one of the most honest moments of my life. I curled up in my bed. I tucked me knees up to my chest. I let the tears fall. I screamed from my toes up to my lungs. I let myself let go because I just couldn’t hold onto it anymore. After I had drowned myself in used up kleenex and the tears stopped running and I could stand without falling I felt alive. I am beautifully flawed, and to be honest with myself means to accept those flaws about myself. Honesty is refreshing. Honesty is just so damn beautiful.

Pain brings strength.
Last year I decided I was going to go to the gym with my friend Elizabeth. We hired a personal trainer named Ben. On the first day, Ben wanted to see what I could do so that he could set up a plan for me. He had me do lunges and a plank and pull ups and push ups and sit ups and he had me run. I was SO bad. I did 10 lunges before I wanted to quit. I couldn’t plank for more than 10 seconds. I could do pull-ups but only when I was assisted to the point that I wasn’t ACTUALLY doing any work. Sit ups were awful and running was just not happening. I was OUT OF SHAPE. For real! The next day my body hurt so badly that I couldn’t even walk down the stairs without moaning and groaning. For the next few months Elizabeth and I worked out with Ben twice a week. In those few months I learned how to do pull ups correctly. My arms were becoming strong enough to lift me. I could lunge up and down the basketball court several times without issue. When I was lifting weights I asked for more weight to be added. I was getting strong. I could feel it. The days after our time with Ben my body was sore. Ben kicked my ass. Ben was a great trainer because he knew it took pain to gain strength. Your body, your mind, and your heart are no different in this regard. When pain is just in the cards for you, realize that you will benefit from it. If you let it, it will make you strong and I’m realizing just how strong my heart and mind are right about now. I need to never let this strength die. It’s an important part of who I am.

That’s my unprofessional two cents right there. Take it or leave it.

Advertisements