Embrace your pain! Face and embrace, 1,2,3! As Alanis Morissette sang, “thank you terror, thank you disillusionment, thank you frailty, thank you consequence…”

How often do we turn to our pain and say “thank you”? The poor thing is probably sitting there, feeling unloved and unappreciated. All we do is complain and whine while he or she sits there unacknowledged. How dare we!

Ah pain, the great healer, the great troublemaker. Without pain, we would be totally unaware of our need to change. We would slowly fade away, melt away to nought but a puddle. There would be no purpose to our lives without pain. Pain indicates trouble. It’s not trouble itself.

I remember watching an Oprah show many many years ago about people who had survived traumatic physical experiences. One lady was impaled on a fence, another had been shot and still another, buried under snow. The interesting thing was that none of them experienced pain until it was important. The girl on the fence felt no pain as she was hanging there. As soon as she was removed, her body knew she was in desperate trouble and then came the pain. This was a familiar experience to all those survivors. Pain is an indicator that you need help.

Image by Holger.Ellgaard

Pain, as they say, is your friend. Some people would never see a doctor if not for pain. So, how to befriend pain in a meaningful way…

  1. Greet it. Say, “hello”. Don’t ignore the poor little thing. Bring it out into the light and get to know it.
  2. Work with it. Don’t fight it. Go with the flow, Jo. Fighting the pain makes it mad!
  3. Use it for good. Once you’ve met it, decide what to do with it. Don’t just let it sit there gathering dust, getting all old and mouldy. Exercise it and it may be exorcised.
  4. Share it. Bring it along to your next dinner party. Introduce it around, like you would a long lost pal. Watch it grow smaller.
  5. Let it go. When the visit has reached its end, let it go, let it go, let it go. It may feel like a miserable thing to do but this step is crucial. Holding onto pain only makes it bigger. Time to let the little fella out on his own in the big, bad world.

Pain is going to happen. You cannot sweep in under the carpet. Better to shake hands and just go with it. There is no adventure without pain. Take heart knowing that life is pain but pain is your pal.

“Thank U”

how bout getting off these antibiotics
how bout stopping eating when I’m full up
how bout them transparent dangling carrots
how bout that ever elusive kudo

thank you india
thank you terror
thank you disillusionment
thank you frailty
thank you consequence
thank you thank you silence

how bout me not blaming you for everything
how bout me enjoying the moment for once
how bout how good it feels to finally forgive you
how bout grieving it all one at a time

thank you india
thank you terror
thank you disillusionment
thank you frailty
thank you consequence
thank you thank you silence

the moment I let go of it was the moment
I got more than I could handle
the moment I jumped off of it
was the moment I touched down

how bout no longer being masochistic
how bout remembering your divinity
how bout unabashedly bawling your eyes out
how bout not equating death with stopping

thank you india
thank you providence
thank you disillusionment
thank you nothingness
thank you clarity
thank you thank you silence

lyrics by Alanis Morissette

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