I find this quote both natural and confusing.
Having had pain as part of my life, for my whole life thus far, I adjusted to my pain. Adjusting to my pain doesn’t mean I got use to it and it no longer bothers me.
Sometimes I am a moaning mess because of my pain.
Sometimes I go to sleep at night, tears rolling, because of the impossible amount of pain I’m in.
So when I say adjusted, that doesn’t mean my pain is gone gone, it means I have have managed to train myself to look passed it so that I can still see whatever I need to see/do to get my day done.
But when this quote popped up this morning on Instagram, it got me thinking.
Yes, I was well versed in adjusting to my pain. And yes, I excelled in not letting my pain stop my day from continuing. But there had been something missing, and this morning I was remembering how a couple of months ago I began to recognise that something was missing. I began to turn inward to my body to try and feel where the missing part might lie. I began to think about the theory behind this quote:
“Love your life more than you hate your pain.”
I knew I had been half doing it all my life, by default, but I wanted to feel better about myself, so I kept thinking. And then I realised…
The difference between sort of living the theory of this quote, and fully living the theory of this quote is overly simple: when you’re sort of living this quote, you’re managing your pain so that you get all your to-dos crossed off each day’s list.
When you’re fully living what this quote is suggesting, you’re not just managing pain to feel as little of it as you can. You have a list of things you WANT to do and who you want to do them with. You give thought to how you want to feel emotionally, while/or after, you’ve done those things. You make a note of what memories you want to make for your family.
And you’re managing your pain … to actively seek those things. Those feelings, memories, thoughts you’ll have forever, and more importantly, if you have children — the feelings, memories and thoughts that they will have forever — rather than just managing your pain for the relief you might get.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not down playing what effective pain relief can do for a person.
I’m just saying I think you can do both. Not all the time, sometimes pain sends you round the bend and it takes a lot of management — and that’s your day or night.
But a lot of times, you can think about your life, that day/week/year and what you want to get out of it. And then think about managing your pain levels so that you get those things done!
Before, I was thinking about my pain, how much of it I was in (how it was even possible to endure that much pain for such an extended period of time, and how I could manage my pain that day/week, whatever.
But these days, for instance, I might wake up in the morning, and instead of just allowing thoughts about my pain to begin my day, I will think to myself that I want to go to the beach with my family that day, and then I will think about what pain strategies I might need to employ, in order to make that day at the beach as successful as possible.
These days, I’ll start my day’s thoughts off with whatever it is that I’m wanting to get done, or experience, or whatever — and THEN I’m thinking about my pain and pain strategies from that angle.
My point is that before I was thinking more about my pain, than my life.
Now, I think more about what I want to do in life, than my pain.
These days things are much different for me. Allow me to be super clear. I do not feel less pain because of this. But I do think more about how much life I want to live, in spite of my pain.
And this shift in thinking has been life changing for me. I can’t achieve it all the time, but I will continue to try.
Hope this helps someone out there not feel so alone.
P.S: apologies in advance for the brain fogged moments that are bound to have snuck into this post. 😉
P.P.S: the reason I also find this quote confusing is because I’m not sure you can’t love your life AND hate your pain at the same time?