Pain is a State of Mind

I remember the first time I cut myself without knowing it. I don’t really recall what I was doing but I remember that when I saw the blood there was a quiet pause in life as things needed to register. It was amazing to think now how that cut did not hurt at first but then when my brain finally calculated the situation the pain hit me with full force. Another example of this happened a few years later when my cousins and I were playing in a hay barn and I jumped from the loft onto a pile of hay. I felt something pierce my foot and I looked and saw the pitch fork sticking through the top of my foot. There wasn’t a lot of blood but obviously something wasn’t right. After the fork was pulled away from my foot I certainly felt the stinging pain and it was there for many days until the wound healed.

This has happened many times throughout my life, especially with the type of work and hobbies I have. I also feel that by recognizing that sometimes the pain you feel when you are hurt takes time to register in your brain has helped me in many different situations. At work I will cut my hands and finish doing what needed to be finished and then tend to the cut. “I’m ok” , “its fine”, “pain is merely a state of mind”.

Pain is a state of mind, if you think about how different other people react to pain. My daughter will scream “bloody murder” when she has a splinter. I used to have to fool her into thinking the splinter was out just to get her to calm down so I could take the splinter out. She once scratched her ear and she cried and actually thought a part of her ear had been severed from her body.

Pain is only as bad as you react to it is my way of thinking. It certainly is better to stay calm rather than to panic, and panicking usually causes more pain and even can cause what ever is hurting to be worst than it was to start. Some of us can control our pain and others have a hard time doing such. Some of us control too much of our pain and feelings, others express them freely as if they were fishing for anything that would bite.

When a person is in pain generally everyone who sees that pain feels a little bit of it. This compassion and empathy is what drives others to help those who are hurt. This is not limited to physical pain but actually more seen with emotional pain. We can see when someone is hurting inside and by such we hurt a little inside for them. Some of us are very good at keeping our feelings or pain hidden, while others are not. Where the discussion as far as how bad it is to keep your feelings bottled up is for a different page, not controlling your feelings at all shares all your pain with everyone you come in contact with.

When my father was dying from cancer I could see that he was in pain, but he tried really hard not to and I know that it wasn’t for him not to feel the pain he was in but so that I wouldn’t. He didn’t want to spend his last days seeing me hurting for him. He was hurting, both physically and emotionally, but he was dying and there was nothing he could do about it. He was mad and he cried, just not around us. When we were there he did his best to act like everything was normal and enjoy spending time with us.

Some people who get cancer or some other terminal disease will shout “WOE IS ME!!” in hopes that everyone will know that they are in pain and try to do something about it. These people can not realize that everyone who knows them does know they are in pain and everyone who cares feels for them. But ask this question to yourself Mr. or Mrs. Woeisme, if you are dying how do you want those who love you and you care about to remember you? Do you want them to feel how much pain you are in? Do you want them to remember them for who you are?

This is not one of those situations where “if you got it flaunt it” because by doing so you are hurting all of those who love you. People are there to help you and they know you are hurting but don’t make it worst by panicking. Don’t make those who will remember you say how “terrible” death was because of how much it hurt everyone else. Make them remember how much you care for them. There is a time for all things, unfortunately there is a time for death, however; there is also a time for compassion and pain. By not seeking empathy from everyone else you are in fact showing compassion.

Death is a very sad thing to have to experience and at times a very difficult transition in life. Many of us like to think that there is a better place after this life and we know that you are in pain and that place will take care of that pain. We, who are left here after you pass will miss you and remember you and that in itself will bring both pain and joy to us. You are in control of how much of those feelings we will have after you are gone.