Pain is Unpredictable
As the young woman walked to the altar, her hopes and dreams stood before her. She is marrying her best friend, lover and soul mate. Four short years later, she finds herself curled in deep emotional pain at the discovery that her prince charming has left her for another woman. If she had any idea that her commitment would have ended in divorce, she never would have uttered her vows in the first place.
But she didn’t know.
The diagnosis was doubly painful. Not only was it critical health wise, but it came at an inconceivable time; during the celebration of a long anticipated joyful family event. Why? Why did he suddenly become ill? Why did this news have to come today, forever overshadowing the memory of something that should have been immensely special?
There are no words to explain.
We cannot predict the success or failure of a marriage. We cannot anticipate, no matter the care we take to maintain our health, when or how illness will present itself. We cannot pre-prepare for a car accident or foresee potential financial setbacks, damaging relational misunderstandings or any other tragic life events. We cannot know when pain will interrupt life.
Pain is unpredictable.
It is incalculable, unexpected, unanticipated, intruding like a thief threatening to steal our most valuable possessions, leaving us intensely wounded, confused and vulnerable. While we cannot predict the what, when, where or why of pain, we can find comfort that will help us manage and overcome life’s painful circumstances.
Security comforts pain.
Often accompanying unexpected life events is a sense of incredible insecurity. The anxieties centred on loss of control and confusion as to what to do next can be overwhelming. Identifying and focussing on what is secure, rather than what is not, can be a real anchor point to processing the pain.
Love comforts pain.
When we find ourselves in pain, we often withdraw or isolate ourselves as a protective instinct. However, spending time with trusted friends and family can bring healing. Loving and nurturing physical contact has the ability to decrease stress and improve mood. Studies have also found group support to be very therapeutic when personal issues can be shared in an environment of respect and trust.
Value comforts pain.
It’s not uncommon to derive our personal sense of value or worth from our physical or intellectual abilities, or financial successes or relational strength. Experiencing a setback in any of these areas can challenge our sense of value. In these times, reflecting on the intrinsic value (value for it’s own sake) of life, regardless of circumstances, is helpful to turn negative thinking into thoughts filled with hope and comfort.
Purpose comforts pain.
When life suddenly takes us on a path we did not anticipate our sense of purpose can get distorted. Purpose is what motivates us to recover. When re-defining your purpose take into consideration your current responsibilities and the fact that you were born to contribute. A little ‘peek from the balcony’ will also help to lift your perspective beyond the limitations of the pain you are currently experiencing.
Pain is unpredictable ….. but when you search for a new sense of security, open yourself to love, determine that your worth is not found externally and take time to redefine your purpose…….recovery and healing is completely possible.