Pain Doesn’t Define Life’s Potential

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Self-Care Tip #196 – When you are hurting, remember the pain doesn’t define life’s potential.  Be a friend to yourself.

Yesterday we talked about giving and getting bad news without fear.  This was received in a spectrum of ways by you, ranging from – no way is bad news something not to be scared of, to, bad news might be something we could face knowing we might find something good in the end.  No one slammed the hammer down, dinging red at bad news equals good all around – except my dogs who don’t listen anyway and are pretty much always happy.

Jjen was brave, saying,

I would have to also agree that in some cases bad news can bring family members, or even friends together that have been estranged. This has personally happened to me. Kind of a bittersweet thing; good in result of something bad and mending a broken relationship.

“Good comes out of bad.”  Not everyone agrees and I don’t blame them.  Some bad things are better left alone to rot and stink out of our lives entirely.  It even sounds patronizing when someone is hurting to say this.  This kind of discovery should be made by the parties involved, without the rest of us holding scripted cue cards for them.

It is also something that is received easier from another who has been in, or is in their own catastrophe(s), losses, abuse or grief – say Jesus for starters.  I could hear this from Him without wanting to vomit all over the place.  He’s been there, hurt bad, and has been blessed through and by it in ways I will be learning about even after Time unhinges.

When my nine year-old adored niece suddenly died, I didn’t see that.  It’s taken almost six years to see anything good come “from” this unbelievable loss we grieve every moment.  The bad doesn’t disappear for me, but as Jjen said, it is not a qualifier for the rest of life’s potential.

Question:  What has come “from” the bad in your life – more bad or what?  Please tell us your story.

17 thoughts on “Pain Doesn’t Define Life’s Potential

  1. I am a musician – a singer, primarily, but I also played piano, and loved it. I don’t remember when a piano was not in my house and when it did not play an important part in my day each every day. I also played the guitar occasionally, and did a lot of my composing on it.

    About 5 years ago, after a simple elbow fracture didn’t heal quite right, I had an elbow arthroscopy in order to trim off a bit of the bone edge that was creating some pain. In the course of the surgery, the radial nerve was severed, and I lost the use of my right hand – I am right handed.

    The realization that I would no longer be able to play the piano or the guitar sank in gradually. I kept telling myself that if I worked hard enough, i could get it back. Unfortunately, that was not to be the case for me. Resulting complications from that original surgery, and the tendon transfers done to try and give me some use created a cycle of problems. I have had three more surgeries on my hand and wrist in the past 6 months.

    I do not mean to compare this “bad news” to that perhaps of learning that you or a loved one is terminally ill. But it has been something that has made a huge impact on the life i always knew.

    BUT: The good news is that if this had not happened, I would never have rediscovered my love of writing, I would never have started a blog and met so many wonderful people, and I would never have found such a wonderful creative outlet in the art of photography. A door was closed, but a window has opened. That might be a trite phrase, but it is also true.

    My life has been enriched and my horizons broadened. i certainly would like for the surgical error not to have happened, but it did. That is the reality, and every day God gives me strength to see the possibilities that are all around. I don’t believe any of us are created as “one trick ponies!” 😀

    Life is still good, life goes on, and the possibilities are endless!

  2. Okay Dr. Q., I’m going to give this a try. Here goes. After my Mother, Dad, and Step-Mom all died with-in the last 7 years, everything took a dump! I ended up spending 1 wonderful month in the Psyc. ward, after that came the monthly E.C.T. Treatments,(which I’ve been on for 2 years and 10 months). And I’m still not back to me. Then my Husband got laid-off, got rehired for three months, then laid-off again. We’ve also had to file bankruptcy. When do the good things start happening? I’m sooooo tired of not being my “Perky” self!! I keep waiting for that to come back!!!!!!! I sometimes still have to pretend to be all “perky”and happy. Most of the time I just want to be alone. If Meds. can’t help me, ad E.C.T.s only help a little, what do I do? How do I get back to me?

  3. Okay, I tried this earlier, but I guess it got lost. So I’ll try again. Here goes. I’m still waiting for the good to come out of the bad. Within the last ten years, my Mother, Dad, and Step-Mother all died, then I spent one wonderful month in the Psyc. ward. And for the last year and ten months, I’ve been getting E.C.T. Treatments. My husband and I had to file Bankruptcy. He’s been laid off, re-hired, and laid off again. Okay, I’m ready for some good stuff!!! I’m ready for someone to find some Meds. that work!!! It really sucks that my Meds. don’t work that well, and E.C.T.s only work a little. I use to be “Perky” and happy all the time, with a lot of energy to get things done. That was before my Dad died. I want to be that way again!!!!!!!! But it doesn’t look like that’s going to happen in this lifetime. In this lifetime it looks like shit!!!! I’m sooooo tired of being down all the time, of not having energy, of just wanting to be alone!!!! I try, I even pretend so that other people are happy. But I want it for real!!!! I want to believe that it’s even a possibility, but I don’t. I don’t believe in anything anymore.

    • hey michelle. thanks so much for reading and commenting. i left your first comment as well as your second because u said things a little differently between the 2 and i thought they were both good. if u want me to delete one, just let me know.
      we hear u about your hopelessness michelle. we stand beside you and you are not alone in this. keep us posted as things roll along. bless.

  4. “scripted cue cards” Very well put. These cliches make the bereaved irritated, even angry. But what else can we say to show respectful empathy? No one wants to hear”I know how you feel” No one can, because the grief of each person is unique despite the common experience of human kind. What have I learned from the bad? Most of the bad was self created and self inflicted. Other unfortunate things require that we must live life on life’s terms like it or not. I f we allow Jesus to embrace us and comfort us it will fortify us through life’s unfortunate tragedies.

  5. It’s true that good does not always come out of bad, but if we can find a small portion of good it makes the bad so much easier to accept. It’s kind of like a glimmer of hope, a reason for what has happened. I think we all struggle to understand that which has no explanation and sometimes we have to pull what we can out of it just to get through it.

  6. I did a post last year following the death of a dear friend, it might pertain to this wonderful post, so here is the link, if you are interested. It’s called Grief Simply Is. . .

    http://paulatohlinecalhoun1951.wordpress.com/2010/04/26/grief-simply-is/

    BTW, I once had a physician, who on the whole I did not like very much and didn’t use him for long, but he said one true thing that I have carried with me. “It is important NOT to worship at the feet of the Great Volcano God of Pain.” with physical and emotional pain, it is very easy to center your life around it, thus worshipping it and assuring that it will always be around, waiting to be catered to.

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