Tolerance to Pain Works Both Ways
Unfortunately, the track around this pond is one of those paths covered with small pebbles. It is inevitable that a small rock always finds its way into my shoe. At that moment of discomfort, it would make a lot of sense for me to stop, remove my shoe, and get the rock out. In reality, I just think, “Ugh. maybe this time it will also find its way back out of my shoe.” However, it never does miraculously fall back out of my shoe. So, I just keep walking. I focus on this pain in my foot and miss out on the scenery around me. Oddly, I never take off my shoe UNTIL that rock is under my heel. It’s amazing how much more pleasurable the walk is. It truly makes very little sense as to why I would walk around with discomfort when the solution only took about twenty seconds.
Personally, I feel this is a great metaphor for our life. We are built to be resilient. We are built to tolerate pain – probably more than we are even currently aware. This is especially true with emotional discomfort. We typically eschew our painful feelings and pretend they aren’t that bad. For some of us, it is that constant feeling of disliking our work. Or, it’s that current relationship where we just aren’t communicating that follows us around even when we are alone. Regardless of our discomfort, these nagging feelings also provide us a message that something just isn’t right – and, if not dealt with, inevitably intensify.
Listen to Pain
Thus, it is imperative that we pay attention to these signals of discomfort. If we are feeling the same way over and over, it is typically a call to action. It is a call to clarify what it is that we do want. It is a time to refine our current actions and try a new approach. Sometimes, these changes can be simple and straight forward. However, sometimes it takes an unbiased ear to help you work through a plan of attack. In either case, if that rock is in your shoe, pay attention to it. It’s probably providing some great information that will only help you in determining a healthier alternative sooner than later.
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