It’s taken me a looong time to accept that there are two kinds of pain in this world; good and bad like everything else. No…this is not accurate. There is just pain and what we make of it makes it good or bad.
We either push our bodies to their limit; bringing us physical pain and we see this as good because we strengthen our bodies and our minds while being able to see and feel the change. If we’re happy those around us feel the impact too. This makes it easy to accept this as good pain.
What about those “silly” things though that bring us immediate joy but long-term pain which can only be bad for us?
We try and rationalise it but in the end the pain itself tells the truth.
It kills us slowly.
It could be in simple daily actions: holding on to grudges which turns into bitterness; eating unhealthy because we love the taste of the food; lazing about because we could not be bothered to be fit.
Or it could be in deeper actions: not letting go of someone who doesn’t want to be in our lives; taking drugs; drinking in secret or isolating yourself because you think everyone is against you.
My sister-in-law painstakingly tries to convince me to eat less sugar.
Do I know too much sugar is not good? Yes.
Do I love chocolate? Yes.
Will it cause me pain in the form of diabetes probably one day? Most likely.
To make it easy we should then probably ask ourselves the following questions when we are about to do something that has a double-edged sword; immediate satisfaction versus long term pain:
1. Is it good for me overall?
2. Is it causing me pain that’s probably bad (through damaging my body, my relationships or myself mentally or emotionally)?
3. Do I love myself? This is the most important question and the more I think about this the more I know I do, so this question more than anything else has made me question my sugar eating habits.
4. Do I value what I’m destroying enough to stop? (i.e. in my case do I value my body enough to stop eating so much chocolate? Or do I value my relationship with my sister-in-law enough to only have one sugar in my coffee at her home and not two?)
So running (good pain) versus sugar (bad pain). Choosing which pain to love seems like common sense now; one can say I’ll be running more and saving cocoa trees too!