Pain is a very odd thing isn’t it? You might disagree at first, but think about it. Yes, it is a simple word and all of us would readily say we know what it means. We become familiar with pain the day we are born (really before that, but we won’t get into that discussion). We all know of the proverbial swat to the bottom of a new born baby to induce a cry. Crying is needed as a jumpstart to breathing, so inflict a little pain and “voila” we have crying! As the baby grows, pain is used to teach discipline. Nothing like a little pain to gain understanding to that word a baby hears over and over, “NO!” We all know the best method to stop our biting 2 year old, don’t we? Yep, bite them back.
These are examples of pain in its most basic form, its baby years. But what happens with babies? They grow don’t they? Yes, babies grow, and so does pain. I don’t mean grow as in the severity of physical pain increases, but grows in its complexity. When we move from infant to childhood, to adolescence, to young adult, and so on, pain gets harder to understand. We know it when it is present, but don’t always understand the reason for it. No longer is pain just that thing that comes along with a “boo – boo”, a hurt to the outside of our body. It still hurts, but as pain matures it moves to the inside, and on the inside, pain is harder to cure. It comes and goes. It lingers and festers. It makes us do things and say things we regret. We get mad at inside pain because we can’t put a Band-Aid and ointment on it and know it will be gone in a couple of days. We think it will last forever, and we rarely believe it is our fault. We do, however, believe that if we can find fault, that if we can blame someone or something, it will disappear. Blame becomes our ointment. We try to treat our inside pain like our outside pain, but it’s not the same.
Treatment for inside and outside pain is different but the purpose is exactly the same. We have to remember that little baby pain. It was a tool wasn’t it? It taught us what we should and should not touch, or taste, or do. We have to see inside pain the same way, as a tool to teach us something. (out of space, come back next week for the conclusion)