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31 Wonderful Things Severe Pain Taught Me

He gave me a bouquet.

He gave me a bouquet.

1. Your mind is very powerful. “Mind over matter” makes sense when you’re dealing with crippling pain. Fill your mind with wisdom and knowledge. There is plenty of room for thoughts that aren’t related to your pain at all.

2. You’ve heard it said, but those who have been there truly know: You ARE much stronger than you ever thought humanly possible. If you think today’s pain is a 10, downgrade it to a six. Then rejoice that you’re still 4 away from max.

3. There may or may not be another day. But time is on your side. Time is not the enemy because God is in charge of your time. And God never makes mistakes.

4. You CAN adapt.

5. These statements are simultaneously true: Things can always get worse… AND… This is the worst it will ever get. Which means this moment, right here, right now, can be the most fantastic moment you’ve ever had. Make it that way.

6. There are many ways of coping with pain. If one way doesn’t work, try something different.

7. Laughter can be The Best Medicine Ever. You’ve got to try it! Read humor, watch comedy, laugh with family and friends. Don’t just hope laughter might happen, deliberately make it happen.

8. Distractions are valuable. Listen, taste, see, smell, feel something new. Enjoy it slow.

9. Friends are pure gold, whether they’re wearing skin or fur.

10. Don’t let the sick part of you stop the healthy part of you. Let pain take up only its own space. If your head hurts but your hands are fine, let your hands delight in the day.

11. It’s never too late to learn something new, even something challenging. Learn a new language, study geography, literature, science, art.

12. There is a time to fight pain and a time to roll with pain. When pain is an ocean, be a fish.

13. Always take a little less pain medication than you need. Learn to be comfortable with pain instead of always trying to banish it.

14. Be glad if you have identified your pain-bearing limit. Then work to stretch it further.

15. You CAN do this! You can live WITH pain. Don’t listen to any voices that say you can’t. Don’t listen to voices that only want to lay pity on you. They aren’t helpful and you end up stuck in a swamp.


16. It’s OK to cry. Let your eyes express and acknowledge pain. But remember to let your mouth smile. Your mouth is good for that.

17. Pain is divisive. It will divide parts of your body from functioning together. It will divide people from functioning together. Fight against further dysfunction. Recognize the crevasses caused by pain and build bridges to go over.

18. Remember that this life is not the end. We were created to live after our bodies can’t go further. This life is the path to the next.

19. Pain is a heavy weight, sticky and personal. Don’t make your pain an issue that pulls others down into the stickiness. Let others help lift you up from it.

20. Pain is a noun. Give it a name… like Motivator, Teacher, or Police. Artist, Poet or Musician. Rest or Transformation. Never let pain become Politician, Spoiled Child, Bully or Tyrant. Make your pain the noun you want to live with.

21. Pain is a story, with a beginning, middle and end. Write the story you want pain to be.

22. If you face pain, face it fully. If you run from pain, don’t miss the scenery.

23. You do have a strong will. But maybe you let it get weak. Work at strengthening your will power.

24. Pain is dark. Find ways to add more light. There are always ways to add light. Find ways to “Be the Bright.”

25. There will always be something excellent that you can derive from pain. Don’t look for the damage pain caused, look for the benefit.

26. Don’t confuse fear with pain. Fear can be conquered even if pain can’t be.

27. Everyone has pain. You are NOT alone.

28. Pain can be ugly or beautiful. You’re in charge of that.

29. Don’t let pain get louder than it should be. Pain only has a voice if you give it one. If Pain needs to speak, try letting it speak through writing, through painting, through music. Some of the most beautiful art in this world was created with pain.

30. Listen to other people. Even if that’s all you can do, it’s ok to just listen.

31. God is here now and he knows everything about pain. Have some great discussions on the topic with him.

I’m praying for you. Sometimes it’s not about the completed painting, the final finish line. Today there is beauty in the brushstrokes, the breaths taken one after the other. Today the beauty is in the heartbeat and the single footstep, the eye contact and hand holding.

Breathe in. Breathe out. Every breath has enormous value.

You can do this!