Apparently, there’s a phenomenon where, after heart surgery, men become more emotional. Well, I haven’t had heart surgery but I find that I spend more time reflecting on human pain and my role in alleviating it.
My children have asked me if I’ve ever gotten into a fight. My youngest daughter asked if anyone has ever given me “booboos,”while my youngest son asked if I’ve ever gotten my “ass kicked.” The smile that accompanies his question makes me wonder if this is part of the sizing up that is naturally done in the animal kingdom. My answer is that, yes, people have given me booboos AND kicked my ass.
I can name some of the perpetrators – Joseph D’Angelo, Shiro Oishi, and Col. Al Ridenhour (my guides in the Martial Way). Life has also gotten some swings in.
The good news is that I have been able to mostly avoid the effects of random violence by either running fast or striking first.
I recently did a quick “booboo” inventory of my body. There’s the nose that’s been broken three times; the ribs that were fractured and had the cartilage between them torn; the scar along my knee where the quadriceps tendon that had ripped from my kneecap was sewn back after holes were drilled in the bone; the bone spur to go along with the arthritis in the same ankle; the two fingers that had to be reconstructed after being shattered into several pieces; and both elbows that don’t completely straighten because all the cartilage is gone and instead of a cushion between the bones of my upper and lower arm, the two bones have ground down into an offset position.
Does it hurt? Yes. It sometimes feels like ice picks are being driven into my joints. But I stand with my pal, T.E. Lawrence (“Lawrence of Arabia”).
In the eponymous movie, Lawrence (as played by Peter O’Toole) holds his hand over a flame until his skin begins to burn. His colleague, William Potter asks: “Doesn’t it hurt?” Lawrence responds: “Of course it hurts, Potter. The trick is not minding that it hurts.”
Pain is temporary. Unless we try to deny the truth of what is. Then it will increase.
I catch myself making a deal with God that I will honor the pain if I can avoid the stroke that paralyzed my father or the Parkinson’s that weakened my mother. I stop this when I notice it (see above about denying the truth).
There is a symphony of human movement that is available to all of us. The instruments may be old and missing a string or a key. Practice can’t be missed. The challenge is to play the music that’s inside us to the best of our ability. It brings honor to us and to our Creator.
Are you in physical or emotional pain? Email me. I’ll write you back. We’ll talk. It’ll help.