Expected Pain vs. Unwelcome Pain

Today I was certain which came first.

First I had the egg and then a couple of hours later – pain reared its head – searing blinding pain. I didn’t know if I was going or coming. Every time I thought “OK, it’s over” a new wave of pain ensued.

Of course when I set off this morning to run a couple errands and then go to breakfast, I never imagined that at two o’clock I would have been ‘stall arrested’ 🙂 for a couple of hours!

Thank God, the pain finally subsided.

On a phone call to my mom this evening, I was saying that clearly I could never have children given the fact that I had this very low threshold for pain to which she cut through my ramblings and said “Nah! Childbearing is a completely different kind of pain experience. Childbirth is pain with purpose!” And I thought…”Hmmmm” and wrote down ‘pain with purpose’.

And she’s right. You expect that pain, you know it’s going to come, and you know when it’s going to end. You can prepare for it.

With unwelcome pain – you are not quite sure of the purpose and the uncertainty as to when it will actually end, is enough to cause additional pain and frustration.

The gurus tell us that we are wired to avoid pain and welcome pleasure.

Yet what should we do when pain comes without warning, without us expecting it?

Whenever I feel ill (as in today) I immediately start thinking of how I am when I am well. I am not trying to be Polly Anna positive, it’s just what I’ve always done. And some how it allows me to lean into the pain and come out on the other side with much gratitude for the many great days in which I have no pain and experience excellent health.

What do you do when you make a situation out to be painful as in a project for a client that is particularly challenging that you keep putting off the start day, and with every passing day feel more pain as you procrastinate?

Perhaps just like I do with physical pain you can visualize your payday – when you receive the cheque for your fantastic work with your client telling you that the phones are ringing off the hook and sales have doubled since using your creative piece in their marketing campaign.

When money isn’t good and you’re barely  making a living to provide for yourself or your family you can alleviate your present pain by visualizing how your eventual success will change your life.

Clayton Makepeace said “I designed my dream life in painstaking detail (notice that word pain coming up again) – and when I say painstaking detail I mean I wrote down where I wanted to live then researched how much my dream house would cost me there. I picked out my dream car, went down to the dealer and worked out what the color, options, price and payments would be. Then I added up what all the things I wanted would cost. And I figured out that when I got my income to just $223,917 per year, my dream life would be mine. From that moment on, I had a crisp clear mental image of why I was going to work everyday, why I was putting in the long hours and why I was enduring the humiliation of rejection and failure (both VERY painful experiences)”

I’m about to indulge in a pleasurable movie experience but would love to hear from you and  how you deal/cope with pain.

Photo courtesy Carlos Porto @freedigitalphotos.net
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