Friday, September 11, 2009

Pain, Hope & Renewal

It appears that we all experience different types of pain at some point or points in our life. It is indeed "universal." Sometimes short-lived, sometimes chronic, sometimes absolutely devastating, sometimes just a bit of a nuisance, sometimes "in between" - sometimes vacillating back and forth.

I have been giving the phenomenon of physical pain a bit more thought recently, following an injury and empathizing with a close loved-one dealing with chronic pain. I have been quite surprised at what I have discovered in my everyday life. When I dare to confide how I am (REALLY feeling) in response to, "So how's it going?" or "Good morning, how are you doing?" or I tell someone how my loved one is REALLY doing. I more often than not hear similar anecdotes from others. I am simply amazed at how many people around me on a day-to-day basis are experiencing similar physical discomfort and pain.

One way pain can be transformed is through the sharing of survival stories -- communicating the impact with others, sharing the steps one took to survive, sharing the struggle and the outcome(s) . . . and inspiring others to begin the journey with their pain instead of being victimized by it. (Much easier said than done when you are in the throes of tremendous pain! I submit, I think it can take much time and effort to reach that "inspiring others" stage!)

As I signed on this early morning (unable to sleep because ...), this photo and article gripped me.

Pain and agony on a whole different dimension - not only physical but encompassing so much more - emotional, cognitive, spiritual ... -- NEVER can mine be compared to the pain this little girl/woman has endured. A photo that imprinted its image onto and into my brain forever at an early age.

Kim notes that it is this pain that humbles her and serves as a daily reminder, to cherish her life and share her story with others. Such a wise and compassionate survivor!

After years and years of horrible, traumatic pain, Kim sends us a message of hope and renewal, challenging us to move on.
Are we "listening"?

Dr. Duly

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