A cycle of life begins with pain and ends with pain. A cycle consists of birth, moves to childhood, onto adulthood, later adulthood, and then, as time dictates, a life ends. Each cycle of life and death presents the opportunity to embrace newness and at the same time, an ability to release the rusted hinges on the door of locked hearts.
We say goodbye, to the life we once loved, and embrace the new life with curiosity.
Much like a life cycle, a time of pain comes to us in a cyclical dance. We experience the pain, we move through the course of acceptance, and then we heal. Embracing the concept of pain may be the last thing on anyone’s mind. However, if we stop long enough to engage with the concept of pain, we might see something more than agony.
The journey of life is one not only of cycles, but also one of change.
Sudden and unexpected pain creates chaos and fear. No one wants to embrace pain, right? So, how can I say we need to stop and engage with the concept of pain? Sometimes you feel alone, dark, and forsaken. Some of us we see pain as the great teacher, the one who gifts us with life.
To enter the world, we bring our mothers great pain. Pushing us out into the world, we cry for the shock of coldness, the noise, the bright lights of the world. With each cycle of pain, a new life is formed. With a new found appreciation for pain, we begin to challenge a possible negative loop of discouragement.
The pity party of me gets set aside for the greater gift of change. The challenge, of course, is to bring willingness to the table. A willingness to participate in acceptance of life as it presents itself, without demand or insistence of rules. Each time we encircle the pounding of pain with empathy, the pain lessons and an increase of courage develops.
No doubt, the talk of pain might bring about frustration. We ask ourselves, why me? Why do I have to deal with pain? And of course, its followed with an emotion-filled fit: stomp our invisible foot, raise our fist to the sky and belly-ache in a good old fashioned attempt to control.
To eradicate pain means to never experience anything uncomfortable to any degree outside of perfection.
Perfection, however, is an illusion. As we look at pain, though, to eradicate pain is subjective. Subjective to what, you may ask? The concept is personal. Individuals who have a high pain tolerance move through life, carrying forward without hitting a set back.
Some throw duct tape on a gash, return to work splitting wood, and think nothing more of the scenario. And then, you have people who struggle to overcome a substance use disorder after they became dependent on pain medication prescribed by the doctor who sought to help them remove pain.
The cycle repeats itself in increasingly complex ways.
Consider recovery. The concept of recovery is one where a cycle starts with using a substance either out of the curiosity of youth or the desire to cease feeling.
Either way, the body habituates to the substance and more is needed. Soon, the body demands the substance and the person is thereby controlled by an outside force by the unrelenting hijacked brain.
How many times have you set unrealistic standards and expectations on yourself? How‘s that working out for you? If you think about the expectations at an introspective level, you may admit it’s like a choke hold on joy or feel an overwhelmingly exhausted framework.
While recovery is something cyclical and full of unexpected triggers, you can set a realistic viewpoint. Keeping it real puts life in balance. Dealing with recovery isn’t a straight line. The curvy scribbled line shows how our emotions take us on roller coasters and often confuse us.
However, we get to honor the idiosyncrasies of change, rolling with our personal resistance and rebound with a deepening choice to continue to remain sober and vigilant. Warning signs are gifts to keep our purpose true. The fragility of a sober life occurs when we forget to protect the margins of relationship, family, self, and recovery.
Our acceptance based on reality and empathy, reminds us of the limitations of humanity. Support, consistency, and a willingness to face difficulties with determination lead to growth and resilience.
The restricted areas of the journey become the beauty of growth instead of the limiting beliefs of expectations and unrealistic standards. When we embrace the protected spaces of recovery, the curiosity to engage with the cycle helps us remain steadfast, even in the face of overpowering sensations dictated by the body’s survival mechanism.
The cycle of pain continues as we remain motivated to walk through the swamp of life back toward the sunrise of hope. Remain curious through the journey of life. For the journey of life is not only one of cycles, but of change.
~Just a thought by Pamela
*Excerpt from my book in process: Catch The Spark: The Connection Between Our Thoughts, Feelings, and Actions.
Previously published on medium
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