Pain: The Great Equalizer

As I spent the last few days traveling back and forth from Hospital to home, or to pick up another family member, I couldn’t help but attempt to make sense of all the experiences.

They aren’t uncommon to many of us: watching a person writhe in pain, delusion from bodily poisons, fear and guilt concerning impending death, and the emotional pain it wreaks on every loved one. I found my self shedding tears and was forced to wonder why? I only knew this wonderful woman a few years, so why these emotions?

It could be from a number of things. As I cuddled up to my husband, consoling and comforting as best I could, I looked up at him and found myself saying “I don’t ever want to lose you.” The admonition that I never would came as no comfort because the fact is I will. Such is the life cycle. My words were more a reflection of pain, I don’t want to lose him.

Pain, emotional and physical, seems to send a ripple through all around it. Why? Is it empathy? Mirror neurons? Or just fear? Surely, joy as well, such as the creation of new life, creates a similar ripple… But doesn’t pain seem to create such a deeper effect?

Is it the great equalizer? Will it always be this way? Inevitable? Avoidable? Is it necessary to foster learning?

Thoughts? Reflections? Theories?


One thought on “Pain: The Great Equalizer

  1. The pain of dying tells us that change is coming, change we do not want to make. We will survive when others die but it changes our lives and how we think and that change, even contemplating it, causes us pain. Pain is, in the end, just electrical signals in your brain, so yes, contemplating the change coming can cause you pain. It hurts and it is unwanted and unavoidable. It’s like knowing you have to have your leg amputated and waiting for the pain of the cutting but it has no physical component, just the mental anquish of that kind of pain. You will survive but you still have to endure the pain of change. There is no way around that other than making the changes voluntarily, jumping ahead of the pain. Even that has its own problems. In an odd way, if you can, try to enjoy the pain because it is your way of knowing how much that person means to you, how much they have affected your life, how important to you they really are. And in your pain, find a way to celebrate the wonderful things they did, the way they changed the world. Celebrate it as if you intend to be that good in your own life. Never regreat a tear. If it hurts then things are happening like they are supposed to. Bear up, it gets better when you learn to accept the change and use the pain to make your life better in spite of it.

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