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Pain vs suffering

Friday, August 17, 2018

I was having this discussion about the difference between coping with pain versus merely enduring suffering. I guess I see pain as a time limited state with an end in sight, that while uncomfortable can be dealt with and resolved. While suffering is a long term prospect with no particular end in sight and no discernible resolution immediately obvious. The task I have is to move things from being perceived as something to endure as suffering to something that is (merely) pain and can be resolved. That resolution may not be imminent, but if there is SOME time frame, then it is easier to cope and the discomfort can be moved from the category of suffering to one of resolvable pain. Being morbidly obese with the attendant health issues (physical, mental, and emotional) felt like suffering to me for a very long time... it took a shift in mindset, a reclassification, a realization that I could create a change and make it a time limited reality with a positive resolution, to shift that suffering to a state of pain that could be coped with and eventually resolved. It took a matter of years to achieve my goal weight, but with each small success I could see the weight of the pain being alleviated slowly but surely. Each small success led to another... until I had built a pattern, and I could trust in the process. I still have times of doubt (don’t we all) but that pattern is still there as an underpinning to all that I do and experience. I have been really sick for almost three weeks now (first a viral infection, then a secondary bacterial infection), and while it is easy to wallow in self pity and misery, there is also a desire to act, to do what needs to be done to get better. Unfortunately, it takes time for antibiotics to work, and the recovery time is frustrating, but in the meantime I am looking for things to be grateful for, the silver linings. Not that I don’t indulge in self pity and being cranky, I am human after all, and running a fever is just miserable, but I work on getting over myself as soon as possible and moving toward seeing the situation as one of resolvable pain, and NOT suffering... most things can be mitigated in some form to pain from suffering, even it is merely accepting the reality of the situation, whatever it may be, or finding room for forgiveness or a personal sense of resolution... but that last part is just my opinion...
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Oh Chandra...you are one of the wisest most brilliant humans I KNOW! What you have accomplished throughout your life is simply BRILLIANT! You have taken control of your mind and body in ways that very, very FEW ever accomplish! When I look back over our years of friendship I see someone who is a true spiritual treasure to our Spark community!

    You have overcome odds that FIVE people probably couldn't handle in their lifetime. Remember that God gives his fiercest warriors the hardest tasks. Think of all of the people around you that look at you and say ...if Chandra can do this so can I! emoticon

    I love that you have your little Cooper to cheer you on and to love you unconditionally as only a little furry friend can do. You have your goofy Cooper dog and I have my weird and goofy Mac cat.

    They are our little buddies and they make us smile in spite of the fact that life can be hard...very very hard...but tomorrow is always another day and we are old soul warriors so we trek forward...always forward!

    Be sure you are getting your probiotics and prebiotics while you are on the antibiotics. They wipe out all of your stomach flora and make you suspectible to other bugs.

    Love you...MEAN it! emoticon
    184 days ago
    I really hope you start getting much better soon. A couple of months in a lifetime isn’t so much, unless you’re feeling poorly & hurting.
    184 days ago
    Wonderful blog - hope you are feeling better.
    186 days ago
    What a beautiful, articulate blog. I am sorry for your pain and I sure hope that you will feel better soon.
    186 days ago
    Since my pain is not of the ending kind I tend to distract myself.That or divide it into endurable subsections.
    186 days ago

    I also live in chronic pain, but I don't suffer. Like you I look for the silver lining. There's always one.

    The pain has taught me a deeper level of compassion and understanding I didn't have before. I tend to listen, not jump to the fix it mode.

    Love this blog Chandra.
    186 days ago
  • KATIE5668
    Great attitude and awesome insight! Thanks for sharing..you are doing so good!
    Relax and have a "renewing" weekend!

    186 days ago
    Share the answer when you find it, please.
    186 days ago
    May your pain go away quickly.
    186 days ago
    Much food for thought in what you shared. Thanks emoticon
    187 days ago
    Darlene Cohen wrote a great book about this, Finding a Joyful Life in the Heart of Pain, republished as Turning Suffering Inside Out. I wonder if you library has a copy of her work.

    Blessings on your recovery, beloved!
    187 days ago
  • BJAEGER307
    What a great perspective. Very well said. Hope you finally kick this virus to the ground and start to feel like your healthy self again.
    187 days ago
  • MBPP50
    Very well said! emoticon emoticon
    187 days ago
    hope you feel better soon emoticon
    187 days ago
    I hope that you are feeling better soon! Best wishes!
    187 days ago
    As long as you know it WILL get better. My father knew the pain from his cancer would have only one end, and he wanted it as soon as possible for the only relief he could get.
    187 days ago
    What a brilliant blog. I had never thought about the difference between pain and suffering, but you're right! Having that hope that a sol'n is being worked on is hopeful.

    I do hope you're feeling better day-by-day.
    187 days ago
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