If you’ve got pain I’m sure you’ll have asked yourself “why me?” “what did I do to deserve this?” and other such unanswerable questions. I don’t think any one of us with chronic pain will have escaped wondering if we’ve done something to create the situation we’re in – or wondered whether we’re just plain unlucky.
Well, I don’t think asking or answering those questions is especially helpful, so here are some questions to ask yourself that might help you think about things slightly differently:
- What brings you joy in your life?
- How often do you include these things in your daily routine?
- When was the last time you stopped in the middle of doing something and just appreciated what you were doing?
- Can you include aspects of what brings you joy even though you have pain?
- Can you bring your pain along for the ride when you go off to enjoy something?
Building joy into your day sounds a bit Jolly Joy Germ, but unless we incorporate these things into our lives, we’re inclined to bimble along and forget about them. When we look back over a week, we can find that we’ve not had a single moment where we’ve been appreciating what we HAVE while we’re so busy doing things or trying to get rid of this pain or whatever. I’m especially inclined to keep busy doing things for other people, or to meet commitments that I forget to stop and acknowledge the beautiful, the pleasurable and the peaceful.
When you have pain, it’s easy to think that we can’t have fun, or peace, or joy until the pain has gone. It’s almost like we create a rule that says “while I have pain, life is completely and utterly difficult”. It’s so not true – the sun still rises, and sets. The taste of coffee and chocolate is still wonderful. Our hearts still beat. We still breathe. The birds fly around, and the cat probably chases them. Our kids, if we have them, are out there developing and becoming adults.
We just forget about these things because pain seems to blot them all out.
So, here’s a thought: stop right now, breathe out and appreciate just one thing that you have for just one or two breaths.
Your pain will still be there, but just for a moment, you’ll have opened yourself up to something lovely in your life as well.