“It’s so hard to forget pain, but it’s even harder to remember sweetness. We have no scar to show for happiness. We learn so little from peace.”
― Chuck Palahniuk,
My tolerance for pain is deplorable. Even as a kid, my pain threshold has never been that impressive. I easily succumb to the pain of your average stomach ache or head ache and I can’t really it no matter how hard I try. You will probably just see me sitting in a corner grimacing in pain and ruining my mood because of it.
If you follow my blog, you know that I played basketball a lot during my younger years and you’re probably wondering how someone as “soft” as I am can become a baller given the physical nature of the sport. Well, I’m a shooter and all I do is wait for the ball outside the three-point line which keeps me away from the painted area where the forwards and the centers jockey for position and bang bodies all the time. I know – it’s convenient – but hey, that’s how I roll and that’s how I contribute so let it go.
I’ve never been good when it comes to pain. I remember back when i was a kid how I suffered through several weeks of unforgiving tooth ache. The pain was sooooo intense I thought my right cheek would get ripped so you’re probably asking, why not get it pulled out?
Well, it wasn’t that simple because that was the problem.
I WAS AFRAID TO GO TO THE DENTIST!
So what did I do? I got creative. I found a work-around to my lingering problem by gargling cold water on that nasty tooth. Clever eh?
Whenever I start to feel the pain, I’d get the coldest water bottle from the refrigerator, take it to my room, and repeatedly gargle on the tooth until it felt numb enough that I don’t feel the pain anymore.
Of course consuming a gallon of water has its drawbacks. I couldn’t get a good night sleep because I have to go back and forth to the bathroom to pee. This went on for a couple of weeks until I got tired of it. I can’t rely on a band-aid solution forever. I need a permanent fix which meant facing my fear of going to the dentist.
I got the tooth finally pulled out and it’s been great since. Pain brings discomfort and stress but no matter how awful it is, it does have its benefits and these benefits are the keys to the kind of life you’ve always wanted.
Pain brings out your creativity
I was able to find ways to ease the pain brought about by that rotten tooth because I got desperate. I want to be comfortable and I’m not gonna be able to do so with that nagging pain bothering me every time. That’s how we are in life as well. Whenever we meet big problems and trying times, we strive to find a way to get around them or at least reduce the impact of such difficulties.
How did you get out of your financial problem? You looked for a higher paying job, you took extra gigs, you rendered overtime everyday. You will do just about anything to stay afloat because you don’t want to feel the pain of going broke and having nothing to spend for your daily needs.
Pain builds muscle
I used to envy people who were born rich or basically just those who are in a better situation than I am. They don’t experience hardships, they can spend money on things that are considered luxury, and they don’t run the risk of coming up short because they have enough to spare
I felt bitter because I had to work my ass off to keep us afloat while these people, well, they’re not pressured and they don’t experience the struggles I do just to put food on the table.
But then I realized something. Even if I had to experience many difficulties, I was not at a disadvantage. I actually had the upper hand because I’m used to pain, I’m used to the struggles and I have one thing that they don’t.
Don’t regret all the struggles you went through because these experiences makes you stronger. It makes you tough and battle-tested. You won’t just fall down when the storm comes. You become more resilient with every negative experience you go through.
Remember the last time you worked your butt off just to fit into that wedding dress or achieve that beach body? Was it that easy and without discomfort?
Pain helps you appreciate life even more
Pain and failure has taught me a lot of valuable lessons but the biggest one would have to be that of having a better appreciation of life. We tend to take things for granted when we’re on top of the world and we’re getting everything we want but once the opposite happens, you will suddenly realize how valuable even the minute things are.
Pain made me realize just how valuable my family is. It made me realize how important time is and how precious life is. Don’t get me wrong, I knew how important they were but I didn’t pay much attention. I took them for granted but when failure came, that’s when everything made sense.
You won’t understand and appreciate how beautiful life is if you haven’t experienced the ugly side of it. It’s not surprising that the best success stories written all started from a painful experience.
Pain is necessary
I know I’ve said this over and over but I think it’s important to stress that pain and suffering will always be a part of life. They’re inevitable. They are bound to happen and when they do, they didn’t happen because God or the universe chose you. There’s no explanation. They just do and they happen to the best of us. Sometimes, bad things happen to good people and it’s no one’s fault.
I guess what I’m trying to say here is that pain is necessary. It is necessary for success. It is necessary for you to live the life you want.
Just like the famous saying goes: “It’s not the destination but the journey that matters.”
Pain is part of the journey. Failure is part of the journey. You can’t run away from them. When they come, all you can do is embrace them and eventually, learn from them so that you won’t have to go through them again.
Over to You
What was the reason for the worst pain you’ve ever felt? How did you handle the pain? What have you learned from the experience?
I would love to hear from you so I urge you to leave a comment or share your story below.
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