Pain Management without Medicine

This section is about managing pain without medications or natural substances. I will write about non-pharmalogical pain management with natural herbs and products in a different post, but here I want to write about handling pain on a psychological/spiritual level.

The mind has a great impact on how we perceive pain. It can greatly impact pain tolerance. Tolerance can range from cringing at anticipation of pain, to not being flustered at all. Some people have great anxiety at the thought of pain, while others accept that pain is a part of living on this earth.

In Catholicism, it is encouraged to give up your pain to God. Let’s say you have a situation that you’re praying for (EX: You found out your sibling takes drugs). You ask yourself, would you be willing to suffer your pain for this person? If it could make them get over their depression and drug addiction, would you go through this pain for them? The goal of this reasoning is to find a love that is far greater than the physical pain you are experiencing. What situation would compel you to suffer for another person? If you practice this regularly, you will soon find that pain is not such a big deal anymore.

Another way of viewing pain, while cliche, is that it will make us stronger. Whether physical or emotional, we can always learn from it and let it shape how we grow. The pains you experienced growing up shaped you, and you would not be the same person without them. When I sit down and reflect on my life, I find it to be so true. If I didn’t grow up with the pain of not having many friends in elementary school, I wouldn’t have the sense to reach out to those who were lonely. I wouldn’t be able to feel any compassion for them, because wouldn’t have an inkling as to what they were feeling. If I didn’t have the pain of my digestive problems that I’ve been suffering for years now, I would not care about health the way I do now. This website probably wouldn’t exist. My journey would have stopped short. Sometimes pain turns into a lesson in life. You learn.

I’ve heard pain described in different ways by different Christians. One I met randomly on a bus told me that we feel pain because God is branding us to make us his own. We feel the burn, but later the scar reminds us of who we belong to.

Another way pain was described is as a result of our resistance to being shaped by God. A Catholic put it this way: you can have a heart of stone and let God shape it with a chisel. This will hurt considerably. Or you can have a heart that is soft and made of clay. When God needs to shape you the process is not painful. You can plan out your entire life, but if you are rigid then you will feel pain when you find out that God has other plans for you. Sometimes we also need to feel pain to push us forward in life, otherwise we would be stuck in our comfort zone.

So if you have pain, do not focus on it. It may be a blessing in disguise. Pray that it will make you a better and stronger person. If you’re experiencing pain, let it help you grow in love.


Categories: Faith

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