I’m no stranger to pain, some of it self-inflicted. Well, sort of, if you count eating habits…
I can’t take all the blame. I was raised in the generation where my mom was seriously excited about her new microwave oven…
Like way too excited.
Thus growing up, I ate hotdogs, frozen dinners and canned soup with the best of them. I did draw the line at chopped up tuna casserole, soppy gravy and toast which was ironically probably the healthiest dish I was offered most days. Anyways, I’m not knocking those foods entirely or her for serving them.
But when you fight with your siblings about who gets to eat the last can of Chef Boyardee ravioli, you know there’s a prob.
And my body just didn’t thrive on these foods. You think?
It brought on intense headaches many days. And those headaches could have stopped me in my tracks some of them were so nasty.
Some of you have also experienced the halting effect that any kind of pain can have,
Because pain is pretty much awful, right? No matter where you experience it.
And worse, if you have goals you’re trying to make it through…
What do you do with pain?
What should you do with pain?
Well, often you need to address the pain head on and I’ll let you figure that out with your medical professional.
But assuming you’ve done that…
Let’s fast forward to what you do with any leftover pain.
Because goal-busting or not, seriously, life has pain.
So stay with me. Unless your own judgment tells you no or your physician encourages complete rest, don’t stop your daily goals altogether. Just modify.
Especially if you think some of your pain is somatic or based on your own emotions.
Here’s a couple of things that could be modified if, for instance, you were dealing with a painful physical ailment:
Cut out evening events that would push you just too far.
Take a partial day off work, even if just an hour early.
Get a steaming soup or tea with honey on the way to work.
Get a massage from a family member or professionally.
Ask a friend, spouse or child to help you out, offering the same to them next week or month.
Eat extra healthy and take extra C.
Use essential oils or a pain reliever…
And last but not least…
Do your goal thing!
But maybe your pain is emotional. Maybe you were broken up with recently, have had a financial crisis, are going through loss, etc. Yet you still have work you need to accomplish, goals you had for yourself pre-pain point.
In cases like this, let the pain come as it will and take breaks for it. But again, with some extra self-care measures, keep at those goals!
And if your emotional pain is debilitating, come see us for sure!
Because if you let pain stop you from doing the job God has called you to do for too long (whether it be taking care of the kids, doing dishes, making dinner, going to work, paying bills, etc).
You now not only have pain but you also have a level of depression…
God knows we will have pain and He encourages us to be brave through it. Remember this verse?
…”We rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope.” (Romans 5:3-4)
Pain that you endure through will, I promise you, lead you to a more appreciative, richer life of deep character if you allow it to.
For the most part, I’ve been intentional about trying to let pain guide me to appreciation and healthy changes. I am still learning but it’s been amazing.
As for the headaches, my freshman year was by far my worst year for them. But I don’t believe I had to take even one day off for one. It was suffer alone and fall behind or suffer while getting work done.
It was tough mustering through but it was just barely doable. People around me understood I may not be the most enthusiastic classmate or worker when I explained I wasn’t at the top of my game. They respected that I came.
But on the days I didn’t have a headache that year….
I was absolutely exuberant!! I remember feeling like my pain made me so much more appreciative for just good old-fashioned normalcy. Those trials and others have caused me to make the most of my days, to take healthy risks I would not have taken otherwise and to soak up laughter and love more fully. I see the Bible verse above in its fullness lived out, in fact…
Now many years that have passed since freshman year and my diet has improved. (You mean you can’t just eat a baked potato with gobs of junk at the dorm lounge for lunch every day?)…
And lo and behold, I’ve had fewer headaches. Of course, from time to time several other pain points that have taken me down temporarily.
And because of this, I realize that some days or seasons you really do need to stop and rest up.
But most days my word to you is this…
Don’t let pain stop you from doing your thing, k?
And next Monday’s motivator will be about not allowing a lack of confidence to get the best of you! Don’t even dream of it!! 🙂
Have a wonderful week, and God bless.
PS: Stay tuned for our FB Live chat this Friday at 5PM, can’t wait to see you there!! I’ll send the info on Wednesday.
PPS: Thank you to Sharon Otis, PhD psychologist and chronic pain counselor who shared her pain tips for this article as well. Resting up, eating well, and exercising were at the top of her list!! 🙂
Love Living Intentionally With You,