Pain is inevitable in human life. Whether physical or emotional pain, no one escapes this reality. What do you do when it comes?
Many years ago, I was at the bedside of my younger sister, Cecille, who got confined at the ICU of the Philippine Heart Center. She wailed, gripped the bed rail tight, and experienced the pain rampage in her body. Her medicines seemed to no longer have any effect on her immune system. It was a difficult moment for me to behold. Resisting it, battling it, my sister had a ferocious struggle that won’t make the pain go away.
Teddy, one of my long-term clients, suffered from the emotional pain of his wife’s infidelity. In session, he suddenly became a yowling with moans, groans, and curses that reverberate from within his heart and mind. His days were filled with anxiety attacks, sleeplessness, and depressive episodes. He felt exhausted. His attitude was virtual surrender of his capacity to heal and be hopeful of his future.
English clergyman and writer Charles Kingsley writes, “Pain is no evil. Unless it conquers us.” Pain has a strong psychological component. Passive resignation and fatalism only make this enemy linger. Anxiety is known to stimulate further pain. When one is conquered by pain with negativity, bitterness, and hopelessness, more often than not, the body or one’s emotional being deteriorates faster. Death is not far behind.
How then do you handle pain? How do you overcome it?
“We do not choose our afflictions,” Paul Tournier says, “but we can overcome them only by accepting them.” That’s right. You overcome pain by accepting rather than resisting it. Welcome it! “Thank God for the pain,” so ended the lecture of Dr. Paul Brand. He continues, “With the acceptance of the discipline of pain, suffering for one another, we wil come also to the ecstasy of shared happiness of a new understanding as we glimpse the vision of God for His world.”
Yes, even in pain, as you accept it, you can grow to bloom. An anonymous quote states, “Suffering is not a question that demands an answer; it is not a problem that demands a solution; it is a mystery which demands a Presence.” The secret of acceptance of inevitable pain is sinking your roots in faith. You focus on living day by day, present in the Presence, to effectively handle and overcome your pain.