Though it is not something most of us want to spend a lot of time on, and often we view this as a negative, it is no less of a wonder. And that wonder I want to explore today is pain.
Seriously? Are you running out of wonders already? In what way is pain a wonder? Pain is a sensation, it is a part of our sense of feeling, and pain tells us information we need to know.
Pain sends very specific messages to your brain. Often it is telling you to stop doing something, or to consider your action because it is hurting. As I sit and write this, my lower back is unusually stiff and sore. Did I sleep in a bad position? Is the chair I am currently in uncomfortable to me? Am I in pain due to a muscular issue, a nerve issue, a bone problem? Why am I sore?
Of course, pain can be bad. This is why we have numerous drugs to numb, dull, and mask pain. Pain can take on a lot of different forms, beyond the physical, it can be emotional, psychological, real and imagined. Pain lets you know you cut your finger, pain tells you you have sprained your ankle, broken your arm, strained your neck, twinged your knee. Pain tells you to stop, before you do even worse damage.
That is physical pain. Emotional pain might keep you from entering into a relationship, give you pause before taking that job, cause you to reconsider your association with a person or persons. Psychological pain is likely a phobia – that inexplicable, only semi-rational fear of heights, or spiders, or flying, or what-have-you.
Pain can be found in many forms, in many ways. Pain can also be good. Some people enhance their pleasure through pain. The burn when you are stretching a tight muscle, that soreness after an intense weight lifting session at the gym. The pain in an injured joint after long disuse in physical therapy. The pain of a break-up of a bad relationship that still eases a burden from the mind.
But I believe, most of all, pain is a wonder because without it, we would not know its opposite. We cannot feel pleasure if we do not know pain. We cannot appreciate the looseness and flexibility in our joints without pain and stiffness. We cannot know that sense of satisfaction in a good relationship without the pain of a bad relationship.
I am a very big proponent of this world being much less about the polar opposites, and more about the grey area between them. Pain in its most pure form is one end of that spectrum. But without it, and those aspects of the world in the great leaning towards it, we would not know and be able to experience the other side. That is why pain is still a wonder.
We live in an imperfect world. And that, to me, is one of the greatest wonders of it. There are so many things that live in neutrality but can be taken one way or the other, from time to time it is worth exploring the wonder of something associated with the negative, and see that it can also be a positive. A world in the great between the polar opposites, filled with wonders a lifetime may only just begin to explore.
What have you learned from pain in your world?
I am MJ Blehart, your “Wednesday’s Wondrous World” writer. Every week I share a wonder of this amazing world, and I hope you will enjoy the journey with me!
Check out my blog, The Ramblings of a Titanium Don, for more of my work.
Also now available, Pathwalking: A 21st Century Philosophy in Book and Kindle form!