‘Crreeeak’… I will never forget that sound. It was the last thing I heard before I went tumbling down the staircase.
It had all seemed such a wonderful idea, to a seven-year-old little me. To prevent one of my cousins who was a toddler from falling down the steep staircase, my grandparents had installed a wooden gate which consisted of a wooden frame with vertical bars. For my eight-year-old brother, my five-year-old cousin and I, the gate made for a fabulous swing. You would swing out over the stairs, push against the wall and back again. My brother got on, then I joined him on the gate, our little feet fitting between the vertical bars of the gate. Then we called my cousin to come on board. What fun! The more the merrier. Till that sound…when the hinges of the gate broke, and we all fell down.
It all happened so fast. A few moments later, I remember feeling my head resting against the surface of a stair. I opened my eyes and I remember thinking, I’m alive, I’m OK. Then it hit me… Pain.
Many years later and
In the last blog post, I wrote that I will attempt to act as a prism and refract the light of Happiness so we may explore the Rainbow of Happiness and its individual
As a child, I was taught that a rainbow has seven
Pain is by no means an easy topic to write about. Being a blog with a theme of Happiness it is a bit ironic to be writing about something that is often thought to be far removed from Happiness. There is, however, a relationship between Pain and Happiness, and if you indulge me for a while, I will tell you about it. In line with my philosophy, I’m going to address this topic in a positive way, such that you (my dear readers), may take something of value away from this post.
Let’s start at the beginning. Have you ever asked yourself, “What is Pain?” and “Why does it exist?”
Were you to look it up in a dictionary you may find two possible meanings:
highlyunpleasant physical sensation caused by illness or injury.
- mental suffering or distress.
If we focus on the first definition for a minute, there are two important points, first, it is a physical sensation, and
In the example above, Pain acted as a warning signal. It was trying to give us a message, “Attention!!”, “Something’s Not Right”, “Something is not fulfilling its function properly”, “Take Action Immediately”, etc. Without the Pain, we would be unknowingly heading for a much more undesirable situation.
Recognise Pain for what it is, a messenger.
Twenty-five years ago, my grandfather took me for a public lecture about the environment by a famous land-economist. One of the things that I remember the lecturer saying was that to solve any problem what is needed are 3As, namely Acceptance of the problem, Assessment of problem and possible solutions and Action to implement the chosen solution. Hence, in the context of today’s post, Pain is very much related to the first A, to make us Accept that there is a problem.
We need to Accept that there is a problem before we can address it. Pain’s message makes a persuasive case that helps convince us to Accept that there is a problem, that needs to be addressed.
This saves us from the false comfort of living in denial.
At the start of the post, I started with the story of me falling down the staircase. The Pain here was clearly a physical sensation. The Pain that I experience these days, corresponds to the second possible meaning of Pain in the dictionary, namely mental suffering or distress. The difficulty with this type of Pain is that it is not acute and it usually doesn’t exceed our Pain threshold. Hence, we are not alerted into action. Sometimes it does build into something that exceeds our Pain threshold, and this awakens us to reach out and do something about it. Most of the time though, it just slowly gnaws away at us from inside and we cover it up, with being busy, often to distract ourselves from the Pain. But in our quiet moments and just before we doze off to sleep we know that it is there. Just as with physical Pain, this Pain is trying to tell us something.
Have you watched the movie Groundhog Day? If you haven’t, it’s about someone who keeps living the same day over and over again. Sometimes, I feel that way. I end up asking myself, how did I end up in the same situation again, with the same Pain. I thought I would have known better but it keeps on repeating. There is a saying, “Experience is the Best Teacher”, which means basically that we need to learn from our experience. I went for a training course once, where it was said, that we tend to end up in fixed patterns of
Pain is telling us that we need to learn the lesson from our
experience, before we can break the pattern of behaviour, and be allowed to move on in life
Do you recall your greatest success? What made it so special? Chances are it did not come easy. You probably had to overcome some form of hardship to achieve it, which is why it is special to you. Think of your
How would we know light, if there were no darkness? How would we know silence, if there were no noise? How would we know hot, if there was no cold?
How would we know Happiness, if there was no Pain?
The existence of Pain gives Happiness meaning and makes it all the more precious.
Having known Pain makes Happiness so much Sweeter when we taste it.
I never appreciated hot weather and the sunshine much until I experienced a freezing winter.
I never valued the yearlong greenery of a tropical country much until I visited a desert country.
I never cherished waking up to the singing of the birds much until I had to wake up to the rumbling and honking of traffic.
We should know that today’s Pain will allow us to appreciate tomorrow’s Happiness much more.
When we experience Pain, our natural instinct is to make it stop, and to do this we are willing to go to great lengths. It is commonly
Pain can be the fuel for many of our greatest achievements and for our future Happiness.
To round-off this post, the 5 strategies for managing the Pain in our lives are:
Recognise Pain for what it is, a messenger.
Know that Pain helps us Accept that there is a problem, only then can we start to address the problem.
Pain communicates to us that we need to learn the lesson from our experience, before we can break the pattern of behaviour, and be allowed to move on in life. Ask yourself, “What is it that I need to learn from this situation?”
The existence of Pain gives Happiness meaning and makes it all the more precious. Today’s Pain will allow us to appreciate tomorrow’s Happiness much more. Focus on the Happiness that you seek, knowing that your Pain contributes towards it.
Pain can be the fuel for many of our greatest achievements and for our future Happiness. Ask yourself, “How can I use this Pain to motivate me to achieve something positive?”
Lastly on a personal note, do reach out to those you love, your family and friends. They do care about you and will give you strength and support should you need it. We are always stronger together.
I hope this blog post has been of value to you.
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What are your thoughts on today’s blog post? Drop me a comment, it would be great to know your thoughts.
Thanks for reading this blog post and I’ll see you in the next post.
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