GrasshopperNotes.com - Thoughts for inspired living


February 21, 2008

Pain

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 9:15 am

No one lives a pain free life – physically or emotionally.

Pain is a sign that something is askew. Reminds me of a story . . .

There was a clergyman who was morbidly afraid of eternal damnation. His upbringing was filled with fire and brimstone pronouncements which were very scary to this young lad. This driving fear was the reason he became a man of the cloth in the first place. His thinking was the closer he got to God, the farther away he would get from the emotional pain of his morose obsession. He went so far as to cross out all the references to hell in his reading material. He refused to use the word “hell” in any of his preaching.

Then one day it really got out of hand. He boarded a bus from his home state and traveled to Hell, Michigan. He had heard about this place and he felt this driving compulsion to do something about it. So he checked into a motel on the outskirts of Hell and slipped out after dark to take down every road sign that displayed the name of the town. He spent weeks in Hell taking down signs and burying them in the woods. He removed every sign he could see and went home a happier man. Sad thing happened next. He read in his local paper that law enforcement officials in Hell, Michigan had found a stash of buried signs and had the highway department put them back up. The signs would not go away and the pain remained.

Besides trying to get rid of the signs, there is another sure fire way to keep pain in place. Tell your story about it. Have you ever noticed that the sickest people you meet are always talking about pain and sickness? There is a direct correlation.

There is someone whom you need to tell your story to – someone who can help you. Robert Ringer in his seminal book, Looking Out For #1 stated, “A clerk is a jerk.” It wasn’t a castigation of clerks. It contained a deeper lesson. If you are in need of help, go to the person that can help you – it’s rarely a clerk.

When you tell your story to anyone who will listen, you are talking to clerks and your pain will remain.

Telling your story is another attempt to remove all the signs. There is some fun house mirror logic at work here. The thinking goes like this, if I continue to tell the story, I remove all the signs and therefore I remove all the pain.

The Grasshopper sent along this nip of nectar in October of 2005:

“Notice and accept the pain. Don’t accept the story.”

Pay attention to the physical sensation that goes along with pain. Give it your full attention and, when necessary, get help. Accept pain as the reality that it is. You’re not making it up. It’s for real. Accepting the reality of your pain has a transmuting effect on the sensation you feel. Attempting to talk it away is burying it in the bushes, only insuring that it will come back to haunt you in the future.

Accepting the story of pain – the why it happened, and whose fault it is, and whose going to pay, etc. – is giving credence to an illusion. Even if your story is factual, telling it over and over again delays the relief that you seek.

Storytelling is the avoidance of acceptance. The quickest remedy for pain is to recognize and accept its reality. Once you accept the reality, the road to recovery is clearer and quicker.

You can go down all the side streets of storytelling if you want to but remember: All those roads lead to Hell.

All the best,

John

P.S. I encourage you to leave any thoughts you have about any of my blog posts in the comments section.

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