Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Each Has Their Suffering

Chronic Pain BarbieImage by Migraine Chick via Flickr

Have compassion for all beings, rich and poor alike; each has their suffering. Some suffer too much, others too little.

~~ Buddha

Despite my best intentions to distract myself from my reality, I am blanketed by my chronic pain. Chronic pain is my constant and daily companion, so much so that I can not remember what my life was like without it. So I've decided to stop struggling, just accept it and try to live my best life despite it. Lately I have wondered if I will live the rest of my life in chronic pain.

Looking back, I see that I spent the first three year in chronic pain trying to "fix it" and "fight it." Back then I hardly noticed how struggling against my chronic pain crushed my world up into a tiny, tight ball---like when you crumple a piece of paper. After a while I started to realize I was getting nowhere. I finally starting asking myself, "How do I want to live my life with chronic pain?" I accepted that the treatments had failed to return me to my good health and that I was living with a obstinate and defiant condition. I decided I didn't want to live my life crunched up in a ball.

Yes, I suffer from chronic pain. What suffering means to me is that each day I abide it, I bear it, I endure it, my body sustains it, I learn to tolerate it, I experience it, I feel it, I know it and I struggle to accept it. I know now that there is no guarantee that it will ever be taken away. All I can do is train my mind to step back from my physical pain and not allow my spirit to be dragged down into it. So each day I take small steps towards smoothing out the crumpled ball of my life and finding some colors, textures and words to cover the crinkled paper.

I've come a long way in five years, so much so that perhaps I can consider some new explanations for my chronic pain:
  • Perhaps it is a challenge, to spur me on to transcend my suffering and use it to bolster my inner growth.
  • Perhaps it is the fertilizer to help grow my character in strength and depth.
  • Perhaps it will spur me on to provide good deeds that enhance the welfare and happiness of others so that I enjoy future good health per the law of karma.
  • Perhaps it is just a reminder that life is suffering.

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