by Lesli Hill
I have discussions about the “fairness” of life with others who live with pain from time to time. I find myself offering positive encouragement, passing out hope, talking about being resilient, how rising above our circumstances can make us strong. You know, all that positivity that is so good for us. And it is. But when I am alone and in pain, I sometimes can’t seem to find one scant ray of sunshine to crack into the darkness of my own day. Just to bring on more suffering, I label myself a hypocrite, finding those blue skies over everyone’s house but not my own.
Then, there is a day when light floods in, when one of my granddaughters runs into my arms, or I feel good enough to dig around in the dirt, lunch with a friend or do a little retail therapy. Wow, no one can appreciate a good day more than a person with pain having a good day.
It is those moments of awe that we sometimes forget to stop and take in. Our expectations are that pain will swoop in and grab us around the neck, and it does enough times to make us skittish. It isn’t easy to fall into the sometimes hidden beauty of our days when we don’t know when our body is going to turn traitor on us. But, we must try. These moments sustain us. They go in our thumbs-up column and we need as many entries there as we can get.
Today, my intention is to focus on one small thing long enough to experience a moment of beauty, an emotional hug, or the uplifting voice of a friend who loves me despite the pain I carry into our friendship. Intentionally focusing on these things can soften the way pain sits in our lives. Science has told us that focusing on these things can lessen our experience of pain. But, we knew that already, in a much more personal way. We just forget to grab onto to those lifelines as they pass by. Today, for me, that will be different. I think I will go out and grab all the awe I can. But, I’m not going to save it up. I’m going to experience it fully today.
I think there is some chocolate in my future.