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Pain. That is today's topic. What is the use of pain? Well, it is to point out what isn't working. If you have a pain in your neck, you can take a pill and hopefully it will go away. But, will it be gone or will it return? If you don't find and treat the source of the pain, it will return again and again to plague your life and make you miserable. It is tempting when the pill works to ignore the pain. But, that is a huge mistake. The underlying condition that is producing the pain will only have time to strengthen and intensify. Then, when the pain returns, it is magnified. And you need more pills to get rid of the pain.

So, the wise person seeks to find and eradicate the source of the pain. Now, this isn't as easy as taking the pill. Usually, you have to endure tests to locate the cause of the pain. This can be time consuming and expensive. Hence, there is the temptation to treat the pain with the pill which is much cheaper and much easier.

Imagine now that the cause has been identified. You have a herniated disc in your neck. Now you know why your neck is hurting, but, you still haven't fixed the problem. Now, you have to pursue a course of treatment. Before most physicians will consider surgery for your problem, they require that you try less invasive forms of treatment. So, you embark on physical therapy, massages, chiropractic, decompression therapy, acupuncture, epidural steroidal injections, etc. Each one works for awhile. Then, your pain returns. By now you have spent 5 years of your life trying to find and treat your neck pain. All to no avail. Ridiculous? Yes, but that is how it works.

So you again seek treatment to get rid of your neck pain. More tests. An MRI, a bone scan, and a prescription for vicadin later and you still wait on the doctors to decide your fate. Frustration for you and your loved ones. That's what they seem to offer. When will you get permanent relief? Will they ever be able to eliminate your pain? You wait and wait and wait. And you hope and pray for resolution.

Now, let's compare this to emotional pain. Again, at first, you treat the symptoms. You eat, drink, shop, work, anything to numb the pain. Once in awhile you stop and wonder what is causing this pain. But, self-examination is perilous so you medicate in any way that will give you some relief. The pain goes away for awhile and your treatment seems to be working. Yet, we know that eliminating emotional pain is just as complex as eliminating physical pain. There are no MRI's or bone scans for this pain. You cannot have laser surgery to get rid of it. No, no, I'm afraid the onus is on you and you alone. Well, maybe not all alone. A good therapist can help you. He/she can listen to your ramblings and guide you with good questions. But, it is really up to you my friend to have the courage to face your pain. You must look at it and you must feel it to its fullest before you can figure out how to deal with it and move on to other areas of your life. Once you have done this hard work, you are free forever. A tiny scar will remain to remind you, but, it won't ever have the intensity to hurt you again.

So, the two types of pain have their similarities. They are both a challenge. Both, tempt us to deal with them in ways that merely delay the inevitable hard parts. Later, you can look back and ask yourself and others why you waited so long to do what you should have done in the first place.

And during this long, miserable process, you have impacted the lives of others. Sure, you didn't mean to make them miserable along with you, but, it was unavoidable. If they love you, then, they suffer when you suffer. They have no power to remedy your pain and they only seem to irritate you by trying. Just try to imagine how hard it is for your loved ones to watch you suffer every day and not be able to help you get rid of your misery. Make a promise to yourself and your loved ones that the next time you are suffering, you will not delay the process, but, you will get busy with the hard work first. The easier route just won't get you where you want to go.

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