If I had a formula for bypassing trouble, I would not pass it round. For trouble creates its own capacity to handle it; it needs no help from my quarter.
Oliver Wendal Holmes said, ” I don’t embrace trouble; that’s as bad as treating it as an enemy. But I do say meet it as a friend, for you’ll see a lot of it and had better be on speaking terms with it.”
Those of us in chronic pain know trouble intimately. And like any intimate relationship we come to know well, like looking through a kaleidoscope, its countless manifestations and myriad faces. How we craft our relationship is…
dependent on not only our passive and active responses to it but our own display of our unique being within the confines of that relationship.
Like family, this is not a relationship we have chosen. In our world, our society today, many take the stance that they can pick or choose which family members to engage in. This is a ” luxury” born of our fluid, mobile, technological age with its dazzling opportunities for change. We need to remember that for most of human existence, and even still to this day in many parts of the world and in many various cultures and contexts, getting along and along well, with family is essential to our very survival.
The familial relationships, although not chosen, must be working ones and the better they work, the stronger the family is, its chance of survival and it’s member’s opportunities to flourish.
So it is with chronic pain. We must carve a path, a fluid, ever evolving path, within our relationship with pain, that allows us not only to survive but also to flourish.
Like any intimate relationship it is impossible for another to dogmatically find your best path but there are so many tools available-countless resources, books, tapes, web-sites, and medical professionals available to help gain perspective, altered, new, evolving, and/or familiar, whatever it may be in the moment, we need to, it is essential, that we maintain perspective in this, perhaps our most foundational relationship.
It is a day by day, moment by moment affair. To do our very best defining a workable relationship with it is, as they say, an inside job. But a job we need not shy away from and like, as in any other, give our best, whatever our best in this moment may be. It’s not possible to do more than that but better than that, in so doing, you have honored this time, this place and this self, the one you are right here and now. The ability to flourish is born and fostered in those very moments.
As long as our chronic pain remains, and even, if we one day, joyously, leave this particular path behind, we will forever know trouble. The challenge is to be better for the knowledge.