The purpose of pain

Today I would like to introduce my esteemed writing friend Melody, who has a wonderful blog, “Adventure into Hope 2020” https://journeyintohope2020.vision/ Every day she writes recipes of hope, which I am sure you agree with me are much needed during this Covid outbreak. She has a published book and she regularly appears on television, radio and in the printed press. Below is an excellent blog on the purpose of pain.

“Pain is necessary, but suffering is optional”. When you experience psychological suffering, you develop resilience. But more importantly, pain puts everything into perspective. ‘

When we know our friends or family are suffering, let’s face it, I think we all want to take it away and make it stop. But, although it is a very strange concept to consider, especially in Western culture, I now view pain and suffering in a different light. I see it as a gift. This may sound strange but let us explore this further.

Firstly, as a very intersting article informs us: ‘Suffering is inevitable’. Suffering is part of the human condition. And suffering can be a vehicle towards greater things:

‘Using your suffering for self-development is a productive self toward personal growth.

This is what psychologists call “post-traumatic growth.”

According to psychologists Richard Tedeschi and Lawrence Calhoun, who interviewed people who suffered traumatic life events including grief or serious illness, dealing with trauma sets a powerful spur for personal development.

Tedeschi explains:

“People develop new understandings of themselves, the world they live in, how to relate to other people, the kind of future they might have and a better understanding of how to live life.”

I remember when I was doing my social work training. Part of this was doing interviews which were observed. On the day of one of my observations, I developed a migraine. The person being interviewed had eaten an egg sandwich and that had upset their stomach and the person conducting the observation had a bad stomach, so we needed to be near the door. I wore dark glasses because my head was pounding so badly.

I would normally have tried hard, but I was in so much pain, I simply sat and listened. And let the other person speak and speak and speak. I possibly said three sentences at the most. It was the best interview I did during my social work training. Why? Because there was a connection through the pain. I reached out from my own position of pain and the other person felt I understood their pain. That is my take on it anyway.

When I was doing my MA in social work, I endured great physical suffering; I had kidney stones, gall stones and rheumatoid arthritis all at once. I wanted to give up. And I twisted my ankle during my placement. But somehow this simply made me persevere, grit my teeth and endure. And I got my MA. I learnt through this time, the importance of suffering. And I have battled depression, so I understand that path also. And that is why I write about hope.

I wanted to share these things because suffering is not much spoken about today. However, at the moment a lot of people are battling Covid or other illnesses. So today’s recipe of hope is to think about your suffering and perhaps view it in a different way. Some of the kindest, nicest humans I know have really suffered greatly.

May you be able to walk on with hope in your heart, even in the midst of great suffering and pain, whatever that looks like X

References

https://ideapod.com/why-suffering-is-important/ accessed 10/06/2020

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