Holistic Health - The Subjectivity of Pain

Physical, emotional, spiritual

Agony is the feeling that comes from pain, whether physical, emotional, spiritual ...


Pain, leading to the feeling of agony, is subjective. Not one of us can perfectly identify with another in their experience of pain.


Being so very personal, it is common to feel alone in your pain. While loved ones, even strangers, can offer sincere empathy and compassion, not one person is able to lift that pain by their mere presence.


Source

Sometimes, quite unintentionally, others can even add to your pain.


A loved one can urge you along at a pace that you are not able / ready to embrace. A friend whose husband died was distressed when others tried to introduce her to eligible bachelors. To her, at this time, this would be the ultimate act of disloyalty to the love of her life.


Ever since experiencing my own agony from a serious incident of workplace violence in 1999, I have not presumed to suggest a prescribed time for healing for others.


The good news is that healing is possible. Time moves on, with or without us. Time has a way of granting us perspective about our lives and what we have the power to do in the here and now.


Thus 14 years later, I view myself, not only a nurse, but as a wounded healer. I embrace the philosophy of Holistic Health for myself and the nursing students I teach.

The mind - body - spirit connection...

The mind - body - spirit connection is a core element of Holistic Health. Pain is a perfect example of this connection concept. When our bodies are experiencing physical pain, there is some related emotional and spiritual effect on us as well. The feelings of emotional and spiritual pain associated with depression will lead to physical responses such as changes in eating and exercise habits.


I understand now that we must always focus on the physical pain before attempting to handle other aspects. Forgiveness and understanding of ourselves is vital. There is no obligation for us to explain every grim detail of our pain to everyone we encounter. No one will ever truly feel what you feel but ... well, you.


We all know who can be trusted with how our true feelings, including the pain we are experiencing. As a nurse, I am forever humbled when a relationship has been built to the point that patients truly share their feelings. The objectivity of a compassionate caregiver can inspire both comfort and hope.

Source

The Three Qualities of Relatedness

R. Moss, in 'The Mystery of Wholeness', writes about the three qualities of relatedness that we can offer to each other, loved ones or patients we serve:


** Creative involvement -- Our support is spontaneous and unique with each person. From silence to humor, each of us handles our pain differently. Should our strategy for support not then take into account the others' preferences?


** Intensity -- Our attention and involvement is focused on the other. The length of time is determined by our availability and the other's tolerance.


**Unconditional love -- Our approach is heart - centered, offering total acceptance without judgment and respect for the individual path of the other.


For a creative interpretation of the feeling of agony, please check my Poetic Ponderings.

© Maria Jordan (revised July, 2015)

R.E.M.: Everybody Hurts

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45 comments

marcoujor profile image

marcoujor 13 months ago from Jeffersonville PA Author

Dear Peg,

You are welcome to stop by any time- here, let's have a cup of tea. Love, mar


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 14 months ago from Dallas, Texas

Came back to listen to the beautiful music video. What a great message in the music and the words you've written here. Love.


marcoujor profile image

marcoujor 2 years ago from Jeffersonville PA Author

Dear Gail,

Judging by how supportive to me you have been to me of late, I can only imagine how creative, available, nonjudgmental and unconditionally loving you have been to your very dear friend.

You are one in a million. Have a peaceful evening. Love and hugs, Maria


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 2 years ago from South Carolina

Dear Maria,

Returned to this insightful and compassionate hub looking for ways to help a very dear friend who has been coping with debilitating pain. My friend is an amazing woman, strong and wise, and I know she will get through this, but I want to be as supportive as possible. It is hard to know someone we love dearly is in pain-the desire to want to lift their pain is strong but no matter how strong that desire is the truth of the matter is what you said here:

"While loved ones, even strangers, can offer sincere empathy and compassion, not one person is able to lift that pain by their mere presence."

That said, I believe the 3 things you suggested are the best strategies for helping a friend who is in pain:

Creative involvement that tailors our strategy for support to our loved one's preferences; intensity based on our availablity and our loved one's tolerance; and unconditional love offering nonjudgment.

Thanks for the guidance. You are a treasure.

Sending a Bouquet of Hugs & Love,

Gail


marcoujor profile image

marcoujor 2 years ago from Jeffersonville PA Author

Oh Shyron,

You are a blessing in my life and seem to visit me when I most need a smile. Thank you, dear friend, for all you do and for all you are to us in this community.

Have a peaceful day and love you, Maria


Shyron E Shenko profile image

Shyron E Shenko 2 years ago

Maria, this is so fantastic, thank you for writing this. It is great and so true. You are such an insipration to others, especially to me.

We all need the healing that comes the the connection of Mind-Body and Spirit.

Thumbs up, UABI and shared and pinned to Amazing HubPages.

Blessings and Hugs

Love Shyron


marcoujor profile image

marcoujor 2 years ago from Jeffersonville PA Author

Dear Peggy,

Thanks for your insightful comments, kindness and sharing of this information. The nurse in you is "alive and kicking".

Hope you are having a peaceful week. Hugs, Maria


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 2 years ago from Houston, Texas

It is so true that everyone's path is different when suffering from any kind of pain and that there is no one right way to approach it but must be dealt with on an individual basis...and in the person's own timing. It takes an empathetic and caring person to reach out to those in pain and you are certainly one such person who understands and can teach others about this subject in a most effective way. Blessings to you for writing this and to everyone suffering any kind of pain. Giving this a tweet!


marcoujor profile image

marcoujor 2 years ago from Jeffersonville PA Author

Dear Pamela,

Your comment is most inspiring. You are strong and beautiful, inside and out...more so because of what you have experienced / learned from the pain.

Thanks for your visit and hope you are enjoying first signs of Spring.

Love, Maria


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 2 years ago from United States

This is an excellent hub about pain, and I am another who has been shaped by different types of pain over the years. I also beieve that mind, body and spirit are connected.

I found I am stronger than I thought for one thing. We are all unique in the way we handle pain, but I think those painful situations are always a learning experience. Awesome hub.


marcoujor profile image

marcoujor 2 years ago from Jeffersonville PA Author

Wise and true, dear Sunshine...always so good to see you. Love, MM


Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 2 years ago from Orlando, FL

In my opinion time does heal wounds. Memories remain. They shape us into the person we become :)


marcoujor profile image

marcoujor 2 years ago from Jeffersonville PA Author

moonlake-- You are so right. It doesn't work that way. I appreciate your visit, vote and shares.

smcopywrite-- Thanks for your insightful and detailed comment. It's great to see you here.

vandynegl-- Your remarks are perceptive and congruent. It's great to meet you.

Jaye-- How lovely to see you and thank you for such valuable and gracious feedback. I have always respected and appreciated your presence in our community.

effer-- You make it really easy to be me. You are about as accepting and loving as they come...and I love you so!

Thank you all for visiting me today. Have a great weekend. Hugs, mar


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 2 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

This is why we all love our Miss Maria. She shares her wonderful wisdom with us in such a realistic and loving way.......This very interesting hub is an example of learning something very vital with ease and comfort.

I thank you girlfriend for this fascinating read...and most of all, for being you! UP+++ pinned & tweeted.


JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 2 years ago from Deep South, USA

Maria - This is a very insightful and valuable hub. The various types of pain are not only experienced in an individual manner, but one's personal pain threshold may alter with the passage of time. What we could once push through in order to function may become an obstacle we're unable to budge, no matter how strong the desire is to overcome it.

Your nursing students are indeed fortunate to have a teacher who understands the link between body, mind and spirit, and is able to impart that knowledge to them. We need professional health caregivers who understand the holistic nature of pain and are able to react with that in mind.

Voted Up+++ and shared

Jaye


vandynegl profile image

vandynegl 2 years ago from Ohio Valley

Well written! I am a true believer in holistic health and the fact that we have to know that our mind, body, and spirit are all connected. It is so hard to be a part of a society that pushes us to separate everything. I have many experiences when something with anxiety or stress causes true physical pain or problems. Others do not believe that an emotional thing can be that powerful. It's not until they go through it themselves.

I enjoyed reading this! Thanks for sharing!


smcopywrite profile image

smcopywrite 2 years ago from all over the web

i really believe pain is subjective. This explains why some individuals are able to handle more than others. Additionally, there is a correlation between your mental status and pain. Whether the pain is emotionally, physically or spiritually.

Generally if one of these is experienced the likelihood of another making its way to you is increased substantially.

thank you for sharing great material with your fellow hubbers.


moonlake profile image

moonlake 2 years ago from America

Everyone heals in their own time. Many think you should get over something fast and be done with it. It doesn't work that way. Voted up and shared.


marcoujor profile image

marcoujor 2 years ago from Jeffersonville PA Author

Gail, Sorry for being so long in answering your insightful and perceptive comment. You have much compassion and sensitivity and I am so very grateful that you are my good girlfriend.

eddy, How lovely to see you and I have missed you as well. Hope you are having a wonderful new year.

femme, YAHOO, So cool to see you here (LOL)! I figure with agony and other things in life, there are more than two ways to skin a cat! And btw, you seriously inspire me as well.

Hoping you all have a peaceful weekend. Love, Maria


femmeflashpoint 2 years ago

Mar,

As always your work is exceptional.

If anyone would be well acquainted with agony, it would be you.

I'm thankful you're acquainted with it, but haven't befriended it and don't allow for it to take up space of manipulate your life, robbing you of your joy and others of your talents and beautiful message.

You seriously inspire me ...

femme


Eiddwen profile image

Eiddwen 2 years ago from Wales

Hi Maria I can't believe I have missed out on your hubs for such a long time but will remedy that from this moment on. A wonderful hub; voted up and wishing you a great day.

Eddy.


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 2 years ago from South Carolina

Dear Maria,

This is an important reminder that we all experience physical, emotional and spiritual pain in the most personal of ways and require time to heal and process our wounds.

Wounded healers such as yourself, are the most compassionate and sensitive nurses, knowing on a deep level, what is required to heal, yet realizing that no two people are exactly alike in the way they respond to pain and agony.

You raise some great points about tailoring our support of those in pain to their unique needs and providing unconditional love through tailored, creative involvement.

Sending a Bouquet of Hugs & Love,

Gail


marcoujor profile image

marcoujor 2 years ago from Jeffersonville PA Author

Oh b,

Thank you for sharing this. You are so wise, yet I am sorry you learned these lessons in this manner. I know your sister must treasure having you in her world, as we all do. How beautiful for your niece's legacy to live on through her artwork.

Have a peaceful weekend and love you, Maria


b. Malin profile image

b. Malin 2 years ago

Hi Mar, heeling is such a process... Thanks for a Wonderful Hub on the subject.

When my Niece committed Suicide 9 years ago, it devastated our family. My sister is not the same person. However with time, she has become a Stronger woman, as we all have. The Agony is never forgotten...but Strength is able to take it's place. My Niece was an Artist, and so my sister devotes a lot of time to distributing her Art work to Nursing homes, Museums etc., She is a Survivor.


marcoujor profile image

marcoujor 2 years ago from Jeffersonville PA Author

Nellieanna, Your words are wise and soothing. Thank you for appreciating this piece of writing that I can also relate to from both sides of the coin. I treasure you and both of your visits.

Peg, Thanks for voting, sharing and for just being you...hoping all is well with you, J and the ladies during this latest cold snap.

Pam, Thanks for your kind and compassionate remarks. I value your friendship as well, dear friend.

Genna, Your comments and your presence in my life truly mean the world. Thanks for stopping by and hope you are doing OK with this current blast from Mother Nature.

Crystal, How kind of you to visit and leave such a perceptive remark. I also look forward to getting to know you through some of your writing.

Hoping you all have a peaceful evening. Hugs, Maria


Crystal Tatum profile image

Crystal Tatum 2 years ago from Georgia

A lovely hub and very true. We can never truly experience another's pain. I think it is a wonderful gift if you can be with another person in love and support without necessarily trying to fix things and especially without judgement. Looking foward to reading more of your hubs.


Genna East profile image

Genna East 2 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

“Forgiveness and understanding of ourselves is vital.” So very true, and just one of the many essentials in your wonderful and comprehensive article. Sometimes, when something devastating to us, we too often blame ourselves. This can also manifest while providing care to others. Pain is unique to each of us, regardless of our circumstances, as is the time it takes to heal. You are a compassionate soul, Maria…with an insightful wisdom that is truly a gift. Voted up and shared.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 2 years ago from United States

This is an excellent about pain, whether it is physical or emoationa. I think the fact that you have suffered both has given you a special gift as a healer, an understanding person and one who is always there for your friends. I treasure you and hold you in a special place in my heart. Awesome hub.


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 2 years ago from Dallas, Texas

This is so deeply meaningful and touching, Maria. You have expressed so beautifully and succinctly the value of our presence at times, if just to listen or to hold the hand of someone in pain.

I love what Mck said about the guilt we feel as caregivers to others, the ache in our hearts knowing we cannot lessen the pain and knowing the importance of our every word in those moments. Ruby has expressed it so beautifully in her comment about having awareness to respect the needs of the one in pain and the stress that goes with the role.

Voted all the way up and shared. Love, P


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 2 years ago from TEXAS

Oops. Of course, I meant that it's true that too often well-meaning people CANNOT - or do not - imagine that their efforts are felt as the opposite of what they intended.


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 2 years ago from TEXAS

Maria, Maria! It takes a special insight, empathy and wisdom to be able to write about this subject of agony without being negative. You've done it and made coming to read this a valuable and good-feeling experience.

How true that personal agony is one of the most subjective of responses to a person’s life experiences, - which says much, because all things a person feels, knows, thinks, says, and does are from a personal center of subjectivity. It’s how we’re made. Realizing that is the basis of being able to fathom others' subjectivity and respect it so as to care while realizing one can’t ‘fix it’ for anyone, and trying to can literally damage the person and add to the agony.

How true that well-meaning people can imagine that their advice and "help" is likely to be felt by the recipient as the very opposite of something fitting and helpful which they intended! Yet in caring, one has one's own subjective desire to try to relieve someone else's pain somehow, though all one really has to offer is the deliberate choice either to attempt to force one’s help which can't be done and may hurt, or the often difficult choice to resist that attempt beyond offering ‘anything one can do’ while, instead of proceeding, simply backing off and ‘being there’, giving a listening ear if the person wants to talk or an empathetic silence, if not.

I’ve been on both sides of that dilemma, being the one in agony who can’t use helpful interference for subjective reasons - and the one who so much wants to help someone that it hurts to be unable to do so. It is so wonderful, though, to know others care when I am suffering , and to care enough to give the other persons room to handle theirs as they see fit. When one can do it and sees them working it out, it is truly rewarding.


marcoujor profile image

marcoujor 2 years ago from Jeffersonville PA Author

Good evening, my friends,

Faith, Thanks for being such a "faithful" friend. Your comment is both insightful and compassionate.

Bill, I know how very much you understand and how very much alike we are in our views.

Good to see you, Car51 and hoping you like what you check out at Poetic Ponderings.

Nadine, I appreciate your perspective and think you've raised an interesting point to ponder.

Vicki, So wonderful to have you visit and thanks for your kind and supportive words.

Sha, Your remarks are much appreciated and so is your friendship.

Randi, Thanks so much for your insightful comments and for visiting my Ponderings.

Good to see you, Jackie. Your points are sensitive and thoughtful.

mperottet, Thanks for your votes and relevant comments. Yes, understanding is key.

Mike, Your comments have so much depth and wisdom. I know that guilt is a terrible burden to bear in these situations.

Yes, Frog, Joe Cocker puts a hurt on hurting like no one else. So lovely to see you!

Sending my Sista a hug with a wish that your pain becomes less and less...your comment shows your authenticity...profound and wise all at once.

Oh Ruby, I know what a comfort you are to those around you because you are the same way in HubVille with all of us.

Thanks to you all for these beautiful thoughts. May you all have a peaceful evening. Hugs, Maria


always exploring profile image

always exploring 2 years ago from Southern Illinois

Agony is such a lonely emotion. As caregivers, we're taught to feel empathy, not sympathy. That is a difficult task. Just a touch can help. Some people who are agonizing want to be alone while others need companionship. Whether in a hospital setting or a friend, or family, the key is awareness and being there if wanted. I tell my family, " I am a phone call away. Beautiful message Mar! The R. E. M. selection is perfect, everybody hurts at times..Thank you..Sharing..


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 2 years ago from South Africa

Agony is like a jail. Every sufferer has their own private cell. Even while they hear others weep, even while they receive regular visits from relatives and friends, they are socially disoriented, mentally paralysed and powerless.

Mar, this hub reveals above-average comprehension, empathy and compassion - the power that enables well-needed information to thrusts their way through the walls of the private cells in Jail Agony.


The Frog Prince profile image

The Frog Prince 2 years ago from Arlington, TX

Great selection of a song though I like Joe Cocker's soulful way of singing about hurt. Many times one feels they are alone in that agony but we're not. Just look around.

The Frog Prince


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 2 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

We are all wells of loneliness, the depths of which vary for soul to soul. None of us know, or can know the breaking point of our endurance. Your article is a gentle guide of awareness to those that find themselves in a position whether intended or not of a caregiver. It is so important for the caregiver to realize they cannot share the pain, only be cognizant of its existence. I can only imagine the guilt felt by the caregivers for their inadequacies.


mperrottet profile image

mperrottet 2 years ago from Pennsauken, NJ

I love the sensitivity that you show here, and I think it will help people to relate in a helpful manner to those in pain. So often we try to project what we feel onto someone else, when all they need is for us to understand what they're feeling. Voted up, useful and interesing.


Jackie Lynnley profile image

Jackie Lynnley 2 years ago from The Beautiful South

We can never know what is right for others in their time of healing and the very best we can do is just be there and let them heal in their own time. I absolutely love the tombstone photo. It shows a togetherness after death. A warming thought. especially in death.


btrbell profile image

btrbell 2 years ago from Mesa, AZ

What a great comprehensive hub. Pain is subjective and no 2 people feel or heal the same. As humans, we are quick to judge. This is a great piece to help us think before we act. Thank you! I just read agony. It is a beautiful expression! Up+++, my friend!


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 2 years ago from Central Florida

Maria, each person's pain is unique. People can empathize but not always understand or relate. The world is a better place for people like you who are there to support and guide others along the way. It's always comforting to know someone really cares.

Beautiful hub my dear friend.


Vickiw 2 years ago

Dear Maria, this is a beautifully written Hub about hurt, physical and emotional, and the effects hurting has on all of us, different and yet made equal by a new understanding of the emotions we all share. The music is a perfect and gentle accompaniment to your writing. Many thanks.


Nadine May profile image

Nadine May 2 years ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

Thank you for sharing. Any kind of pain is as always a learning curve, but if you read the book; A course in Miracles, then this reality is all an illusion created by our mind. Billy is so right. Empathy means to be able to stand on others shoes.


Car51 profile image

Car51 2 years ago

Appreciated your insights. Will check out your Poetic Ponderings. Have a nice week-end!


billybuc profile image

billybuc 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

Finding empathy for this kind of pain takes a special person who has been there; there is no other way. I have been there....you have been there...and we are better people because of it.

blessings and love always

bill


Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 2 years ago from southern USA

Oh, joy, I hope I am the first to comment here this night! Dear Maria, this is such a thoughtful and measured piece here as to the reality of being in agony associated with pain, either physically or emotionally. Ah, yes, the spirit connection is real between the mind and body no doubt about it. I know after recovering from surgery and that physical pain that is always associated with such afterwards, whew ... I will tell you the truth, in the middle of the night when you are lying there alone and in such pain, one's mind goes to a dark place from being in such intense pain. I am sure it is the same for those who suffer from emotional pain as well over a long period of time, i.e., PTSD.

I have no doubt that your patients tell you everything, as you are one compassionate and understanding person.

Thank you for sharing your wisdom here. You are beautiful.

Up and more and sharing.

Hugs and love,

Faith Reaper

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