Pain Physical and Emotional
I recently experienced an illness that caused me to feel a lot of physical pain. I don’t get ill very often and during the agony(in my view it was at the time) of it I did not know what to do with myself. I couldn’t function normally or in fact do anything at all. So I thought I’d try to get a positive from it so sat down and started writing while I was feeling it. Below is what I wrote.
Pain is an experience we feel physically or mentally. If we feel it physically it absorbs every part of us, we can think of nothing else. We can’t operate properly; we can’t think straight or do simple tasks that we usually don’t even need to think about doing, we normally just do them. It’s only when physical pain creeps up on us that we are given a sharp reminder of how pain feels. We forget. When we experience it again it comes flooding back how it affects us, how it feels, how it takes us over. What we remember is every pain we’ve ever experienced in our lives while going through this old or new pain. We believe we won’t forget, convinced that there’s no way we could forget while we go through it. Yet we do.
Is this important? Yes I believe it is important to remember pain. To remember is to give us greater empathy with others who experience it at a different time to us. We may still feel empathy and sympathy for the afflicted but not with the same intensity. There are people everywhere who live their entire lives in physical pain, knowing nothing else but that during their lifetime. Can you imagine a life like that? I don’t want to.
We may not be able to heal their afflictions or stop their pain but we can support them and remember. So keep your pain close to you, don’t forget because you may just come across someone sometime soon who crosses your path who is just that person you can be there for. People are quiet often and don’t complain, yet they are still going through it.
Emotional pain is an experience we feel with the same intensity as physical pain. It consumes us and eats away at the core of us, physical pain we forget, emotional we don’t, and we bear the scars. Forever if we let them. The same as in physical pain but to a lesser physical degree clearly, we just can’t function properly. Yet it’s more of a constant distraction than a disablement from functioning.
We never forget the emotional pain we have suffered, we carry it with us. Good or bad every experience is a lesson so rightly so we take it with us. We learn and grow from every experience. The only problem with emotional pain is it has a habit of continuing the pain a lot longer than a physical pain. It affects us, in every way, how we view the world, how we interact, how it affects future relationships, how long we carry the heavy hurt like a ton weight. You get where I’m coming from.
So what should we do with this emotional pain? Should we carry it with us if we had a choice? Yes and no in my opinion. Yes for the same reasons as for physical pain and for our own learning. No for the reason of the weight it carries and interferes with future relationships which we should go into fresh and new, not laden with presumptions and suspicions based on past problems.
So the answer? I don’t have one, if I did I wouldn’t be here, I’d be sat up there on a throne lol! There are a few things I’ve come to understand and master though. With emotional pain I think the answer lies in forgiveness only. If we can forgive then there is no wound any more, it’s gone. The easiest part of forgiveness is to forgive others; the hard part is to give ourselves the same honour.
To forgive is to give yourself freedom absolutely! When you forgive it’s not just for the person themselves, it’s as much for you too. It’s an unburdening of loathing that is carried within you, the person it’s projected onto feels nothing, that’s only felt by you, me. So who is it damaging too? If the afflicted rightfully feel those feelings towards the perpetrator who would it be, the afflicted or the perpetrator? The afflicted clearly. They have already suffered enough.
To forgive someone you need to sometimes have an open mind. To put yourself into who was deemed before as an enemy’s shoes; is a hard task to accomplish, without judgement. That is what it’s taken for me, putting myself in their shoes and taking a few steps. Without judgement, taking myself out of the equation. Our enemies are loved and are good people to the people they love, they are just like us. So I used to imagine a person I needed to forgive that way, with their families and friends. They weren’t horrible, just as nice as the next person. Of course they were because they are! We just didn’t get on!
Once you can see this and feel it then forgiveness is easy. I’m still working on the forgiving ourselves part.......although having an understanding that we are only human and fallible is a good start..........as well as looking at our own ‘mistakes’ with a new perspective. I don’t like to think of the things we regret as mistakes personally, I prefer to see them as lessons.