Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Pain is Temporary
What an interesting day I had. After exploring Facebook and chatting with my friend from high school, we realized that both of our lives have undergone huge changes in just the past 4 years.
We realized that the last time we really spent some quality time together, it was 4 years ago and she was still living near Santa Cruz, in the process of going through a divorce, trying to figure out what was next and she was feeling very much adrift, and in a lot of emotional pain. Now she's planning a wedding, she's enjoying snowboarding, pursuing her photography, and enjoying life.
At the same 4 years ago I was just weeks away from starting nursing school, and my life was not in good order either. Things were not good in general in my life. Dennis and I had seen better days together. I'd been in a bad place for several years, trying to get my thyroid stuff figured out and I'd only been on medication that worked for less than a year.
I knew going into nursing wasn't going to be easy, but it seemed like the most practical thing to do at the time, and I was still concerned about whether I was physically ready for the challenge of intense studying and long days in clinicals, plus trying to hold down a part-time job in addition to my personal training clients.
What I was most afraid of was the fatigue coming back. In the back of my mind I knew that if I wasn't up to it, I would quit and try again later. But I also knew I had to try, and even when it was difficult, I had to push through the fatigue at times. My biggest fear was of finding out that my days of having normal energy were over and that I'd always have to deal with mind-numbing fatigue, and never be able to run ultras again.
As we chatted today we talked about how 4 years ago seems like a million years ago and another life. And how much better things are now.
You have to pass through the pain when it's there. I learned that at Badwater again last summer. The thing about pain is that you get through to the other side of it. Even if that other side is death. For some people, they go through horrific pain, physical, mental, emotional, or otherwise.
To be on the on the other side of the pain, being able to look ahead, to a day when it subsides, even if it seems like from one's perspective at the time, it will never end and never let up. Even if it's unimaginable to see the painful situation as having an end. Even if what could be on the other side of the pain could bring an immeasurable and unimaginable amount of happiness.
Today I am so grateful for and so appreciative of all the amazing, exceptional people in my life, and for my good health, even with this little annoying cold that is temporary, and for the love in my life, and for my ability to run and think and create and live with so little pain, really just the inconvenience of having to deal with occasionally unpleasant people at work. Every day I see people who are at their lowest point in life, and it's important to look into the future for them, and look at the contrast with what is now.
There are people out there who are hurting materially, having lost a lot lately, and other people who are dealing with horrific emotional and physical pain in their lives. I hope they soon pass through the pain, and see the other side, and I hope that what is on the other side for them is happiness. Even if it's unimaginable today, immeasurable and infinite happiness.