Pain hurts; love doesn’t

Pain is such an inconvenience.

Oh, and it just plain hurts.

I think one of the most frustrating things about pain is that it often leaves us with the inevitable question: WHY?? And sometimes there really doesn’t seem to be a reasonable explanation.

When I was younger, I was attempting to make a grilled cheese the old-fashioned way–and I’ve mentioned how horrible I am in the kitchen–and I needed to know if the stove was hot enough, so I reached down and touched it. With my bare finger. And it hurt. Now, obviously the resulting burn and pain that went along with it were products of my sheer stupidity. I pretty much brought that pain upon myself.

However, not all pain seems so deserved.

Since last October, I’ve been dealing with plantar fasciitis. It’s a pretty common problem for runners, but for months now it’s gotten to the point where I feel like I’m constantly walking on a knife. I’ve tried basically every method that everyone else has told me cured them: I’ve done Graston Technique treatments, I’ve gotten a cortisone injection, I’ve slept with those uncomfortable splints and socks, I’ve rolled on baseballs and frozen water bottles, and I’ve even watched as a doctor drew two ounces of my own blood from my arm and then injected it into my heel with the idea that it inflames the foot and then breaks up the fascia tissue. That last one was by far the most painful–I was literally crawling around my apartment later that day, because I was unable to walk. I’ll tell you what: I do not envy babies. Crawling is awful.

It’s just annoying not knowing why I have to have this nuisance in my life. I’ve run for years without any foot troubles, and then this came and won’t go away. I think a lot of people go through similar situations, though perhaps not with plantar fasciitis. We all face times in life when we have to deal with pain–whether physical or emotional–and we are left wondering what in the heck we did to merit such things. For instance, if you’ve ever had a broken heart, you wonder how someone you cared about and you thought cared about you could treat you so carelessly. And you have no answers at the time (or maybe ever). I know I’ve found myself so many times crying out, “What did I do to deserve this?”

And then I remember that’s not how it works.

sushi?
Looks of pain

If I really got everything I deserved in life, I would be in a much worse state than I am. I’ve received so much grace and mercy, and it’s silly to think I’m never going to struggle. After all, it’s during times of pain and troubles that we often become stronger people, because we can’t rely on ourselves. We have to trust that Someone much more powerful than we will ever be will carry us through.

I think pain also helps us appreciate those times we don’t have it. I can’t think of as many instances in life where I’ve been healthy and happy and spending much time wondering what I did to deserve it. And, as hard as it is, I think it’s important to be thankful in both trials and good times. (I am secretly saying that to try to encourage myself, because I don’t necessarily feel very thankful right now.)

I know this may sound strange, but I don’t really care: sometimes when I get a cut or something that necessitates a Band-Aid, I get kind of excited, because I only wear cool Band-Aids (like fairies or Spiderman or the Peanuts gang). Even if I’m not thinking about the healing process, the thought of a fun bandage mentally helps. Maybe that’s what we can do in other areas of life–just picture a giant, neat Band-Aid helping make you smile when you don’t want to.

Truth be told, life can be hard at times, but we have to endure those struggles to become the people we are supposed to be. And, even when we want to hate so many things around us, it’s important always to let love win, because it always does in the end, anyway.

And, in spite of what the band Nazareth told us, true love does not actually hurt.

It heals–and we could all use a little bit of healing every now and then.

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