Saturday, November 25, 2006

2 lessons from pain

Dear Jan:

You are very familiar with pain. You wake up with pain, you take your breakfast and the medication reminds you of pain, you go through the motions of the day and the constant presence of a dull pain forces you to cry, to slow down, to struggle with the movements of life. I am surprised of how valiantly you set aside this pain and sometimes enjoy life.

Many people have discussed the nature or the reason of pain. Take for example the book of Job from the Bible where the reason for pain is a bet between God and the devil; or take any article from an American newspaper where you can see that the main reason for their fear is the pain they remember from 9/11.

Pain, fear, dissapointment, sadness. If we go beyond trying to assign guilt, we are left with a question about what is the purpose of this pain in your life? How are we supposed to understand the tremendous disruption of our lives as a result of the aneurysm? And, I don't mean only the physical pain, because there is a sustantial emotional and spiritual pain that has been part of our lives.

I read a dozen books on pain in life. But this does not alleviate the experience of pain, it just provides a framework to answer the big questions. The irony is that it is the small questions, the constant dull pain, is what breaks the soul and the resilience.

A poet said that love and pain are the two wings of life. Lesson one is that you can't have one without the other.

Lesson two, is that however despicable and horrendous is the experience of pain, it can produce a beautiful character or a bitter attitude.

How paradoxical!


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