September 6        

Today's quotation:

I am willing to put myself through anything; temporary pain or discomfort means nothing to me as long as I can see that the experience will take me to a new level.  I am interested in the unknown, and the only path to the unknown is through breaking barriers, an often painful process.

Diane Nyad

Today's Meditation:

I can't begin to count how many times I've avoided certain things because I was afraid of the pain.  I spent many years being lonely not because of who I was, but because of what I feared-- the pain of rejection or neglect.  I've missed out on many opportunities because I simply wasn't willing to take risks that might have caused me more pain than I thought I could handle.

Nowadays, though, I often thrive on risk.  I find that life is much more dynamic and interesting if I focus on what I can do-- even if it seems I can't-- rather than on the limitations that seem to face me.  Part of this has come about because, like Diana, I've realized that all pain is temporary and that whenever I do experience pain at whatever level, I come out of it being stronger, and knowing myself a bit better than I did before.

The unknown is more frightening than the known.  It holds mystery and potential hazards, but I believe the hazards are there when we put them there.  The unknown also holds many, many treasures that we never can discover if we don't explore there.

We simply cannot reach new levels if we continue to do the same things each day.  Many people feel the frustration of having "plateaued," but their frustration can be dealt with only by finding acceptable risks to take to move onward and outward.  That's how we grow in life, and once we acknowledge that pain isn't necessarily the awful thing we've grown up to believe it is, then we can take more and more risks and grow more as people.

Questions to consider:

Why do we tend to avoid pain, or things that may be painful?

What does pain indicate to us?  What's it trying to tell us?

How many extremely easy things have been very valuable to you?

For further thought:

When an apprentice gets hurt, or complains of being tired, the workmen and peasants have this fine expression:  “It is the trade entering his body.”  Each time that we have some pain to go through, we can say to ourselves quite truly that it is the universe, the order and beauty of the world, and the obedience of God that are entering our body.

Simone Weil

more thoughts and ideas on pain



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