I had a sign above my bedroom door that I would hit almost every time I went through it that said NO PAIN NO GAIN! Memory is starting to fail me but I think we had this above the door leading out to the gym of the girls’ locker room at Springfield-Parkview High School too. Of the course, the sentiment is if you are not working hard enough for it to hurt then you aren’t going reach goals, grow, or win. The idea is you build grit, determination, and perseverance through sometimes painful activities.
I am pretty sure this mindset is what has led to every stupid injury I have ever sustained from not listening to my body and pushing past growth pain to destabilizing pain.
As humans we go to great lengths to avoid pain or what we perceive will cause pain. We seem to find the presence of pain almost alien like. However, we were designed to experience pain. It’s been tantamount to God’s plan for the survival of His creation. Our capacity to experience pain gives us the capacity to survive. Without it how would we be able to interpret harmful and destructive forces or situations?
I have been through a very long process of trying to heal from my latest injury, which was probably 10 years in the making. Most days I have found it hard not to wake up already irritated knowing my activity would be extremely limited or I would pay the price. An activity I have tried to be very disciplined during this season of healing is to keep a gratitude journal. In my journal most days I try to write at least 5 things I appreciate and 5 things I am blessed by. It never occurred to me to be grateful for this pain or any pain in my life, whether physical, emotional, or spiritual. I think I have always felt that any pain I feel I am somewhat at fault for, deserving, or I stupidly caused it to happen. Why would I be grateful for its presence in my life?
Without pain how could we experience pleasure and joy? How could we understand even the basics of what is pleasant? I think I need to have a shift in my perception of pain. I am not going to seek out pain like a masochist, but I do feel the need to appreciate my body, mind, soul and for God allowing me to experience whatever pain I experience at whatever level. Stubbed toes to absolute heartbreak. I need to realize pain is here for a bigger reason.
I wonder how pain has shaped your mindset? How has any kind of pain, physical, emotional, or spiritual caused you to grow?