God is using Your pain to teach you!

Pain, suffering, and happiness are three rather different words to be linked together. Everyone desires happiness, but this has different meanings for each of us. Furthermore, stress and pain are two major barriers between us and our goal of happiness.

We all know that some kind of pain, physical, mental, or emotional, is one of the inevitable facts of life. When we are in pain our first response is to somehow get rid of that pain. This is not always possible. Still, our minds tell us that the less pain we experience, the happier we are.

Although we may not want to admit it, pain plays an important role in our lives. Pain is the body’s messenger which alerts us to the fact that some part of our body needs immediate attention. Pain is also a teacher as we learn to live with it and come to make the distinction between pain and suffering. Thus we begin to understand the statement that pain is inevitable, but suffering is optional.

This leads us to another way to look at pain. This different view of pain and pain control, is based on the concept that pain reduction can be achieved, not by escaping from pain, but rather in escaping into it.

A large portion of what we feel when we feel pain is not true pain at all but suffering, that is our mental response to pain, which is really our resistance to the pain. What this means is that suffering, which feels the same as pain, but is not pain, increases and decreases in direct proportion to our resistance to pain. Thus, the less we resist pain, the less we suffer, and the less total pain we experience.

Of course it would be unrealistic to think that merely changing our thoughts about pain will make it go away.

Pain, whether sudden and unexpected, or chronic and long-term, is a fact of our human experience. However it is wise to note that practicing stress management techniques such as meditation can assist us in working with our medical advisors to achieve a more positive pain experience.

And now, what about happiness? It has been stated that we often experience happiness in the midst of suffering, and pain in the midst of joy. As we become mindful of the place of pain and suffering in our lives we move towards a place of acceptance of what exists, which leads us to distance ourselves from that which exits. This distancing is the freedom that leads to true happiness.

Finding happiness for ourselves, or even knowing what happiness is, can be problematic. True happiness may not be what we think it is, for it is often hidden deep within, and we may never before have realized how much happiness and potential happiness we have inside ourselves. Through meditation, stress management, exercise, journaling, and other mindfulness endeavors we must seek and find that hidden well of real happiness that will fill us with a deep, inner glow and enable us to view pain, suffering, and happiness in new and unexpected ways.

Yes, pain is inevitable, but suffering is optional, and true happiness is frequently hidden deep within ourselves waiting to be discovered. This is the challenge each of us must face as we learn to live meaningful, productive lives in spite of the pain that is an unavoidable part of every life.