On Pain

I’ve been flicking once again through the pages of a little book called “The Prophet” by Kahlil Gibran.

A holy man imparts words of wisdom on many issues, as he is about to disembark from an island, after waiting twelve years for his ship to arrive.

“On Pain”

…. and a woman spoke, saying “tell us of pain”

….. and he said “Much of pain is self chosen. It is the bitter potion by which the physician within you heals your sick self”

It seems at first, crazy to me, that any of us would choose pain, but with continued reflection and calm, comes an ability to appreciate that we do make choices about how we react to events of our lives.

I’m not talking here about physical pain, although I am quite sure that if I hit my thumb with a hammer, I could choose the level at which I cry out and carry on or chew my lip or curse until the pain subsides – e.g is their an audience for my display? (response – shout out/cry) or is there a vicar walking past? (response – smile and curse quietly)

I’m talking here about emotional pain. I have begun to realise that issues which previously caused me deep pain, no longer seem to have the power to do so. It is not because those issues are not still occurring in my life, it is just that I no longer process the effects on my well-being in such an intensely destructive and negative way.

Here is an example:-

For a long time, I reacted badly if a comment was made which questioned my sexuality. I was so sensitive about my suppressed truth being focused on, that a stray comment would cause me intense pain for days, years in fact if I chose to reflect on it.

I pick up on these messages all the time, but I have “armed” myself with several responses which is to confront it with humour, ignore it, or project the discomfort back onto the commentator, but I do not feel pain anymore.

And what is more, I think that I have taken the advice of The Prophet”, in this lovely little book, and discovered the physician within me which has healed my sick self.

My next blog will be:       Running Away

William Defoe

2 thoughts on “On Pain

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