From the book Constructive Living by David K Reynolds:
“Chronic illness and pain are forms of suffering. In order to make them bearable, you have to begin by accepting these conditions as they are. By accepting the condition I mean that you must stop wasting energy wishing it would go away, pretending you’re not handicapped by it, wondering what life would have been like without it, cursing God or fate for letting it happen to you, or otherwise letting yourself be distracted from facing up to the situation that life has brought you. You don’t like it. Of course – you hurt! Now, what needs to be done?
If there’s anything that pain does very well, it is to bring us back to the here and now and force us to find meaning in the present. Life is easy to drift through when things are going well, but a quick shot of pain brings us up short. And longer periods of hurting force us to explore the meaning of life and the meaning of suffering. [emphasis added]
Every situation, every moment, provides the opportunity for self-growth and development of your character. Reality keeps bringing us circumstances – sometimes I picture them as waves breaking on the shore – and we have the chance to keep merging with that reality, to fit ourselves to it, to dive into those waves. If we simply stand and let the waves crash over us, if we mistime our dive or plunge at the wrong angle or try to flee from the waves, we get battered around by their force. But a clean dive sets us up for facing the next series of waves. Afraid or not, we dive into the wave. Hurting or not, we dive. Weak or not we dive. In time the biggest breaker holds no fear for us because our perceptions are sharp and our diving skills are sufficient for the tidal wave of death.”
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