The quality of our life changes when we live with chronic pain, and it is easy to submit to feelings of depression, anger and loss. Yet -- and even though such emotions are surely natural and understandable -- who wants to live perpetually in anger, however natural the reasons are?
Here is where being in pain can help lead us to spiritual wisdom, as I have posted recently.
For me, the pain and other effects of migraine keep me from engaging in life as I used to. But I do not want to give up on life completely, so I have been forced to seek meaning within the pain and discomfort. Much to my initial surprise, meaning was there. It was very much different from the supposed joys and productivity of the life I'd left behind -- activity, work, better purchase power, more time to seek out what the world calls 'pleasure.'
"We might spend our whole lives attempting to gain sensory pleasures, yet pleasures are transitory. The belief that the physical world is solid and unchanging and can bring true happiness is an illusion created by the mind. The deepest peace and greatest joy are beyond material and sensory pleasure." (Diane Mariechild in Open Mind -- Womens' Daily Inspirations for Becoming Mindful)
Hidden inside our pain-filled lives is the truth about what constitutes real fulfillment, true happiness. When we have seek out meaning in our lives despite the pain we can find what Diane Mariechild calls "deepest peace and greatest joy".
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Carol D. Marsh
- With a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Nonfiction degree (Goucher College, August 2014), I am looking at a new phase in my life. From 1992 to 2009, I served as Founding Executive Director of Miriam's House, a residence for homeless women living with AIDS. I left this position when Chronic Migraine Disease overtook my ability to do my job. Now I hope that a writing career will both accommodate the migraines and give me a creative, productive outlet. And soon, September 4, I will launch my Inkshares author page in a bid to hit the 1,000 pre-order goal in 90 days. The book I want to publish is "Nowhere Else I Want to Be," a memoir of ten of my years at Miriam's House.