August 23

The Pain is Exhausting

August 23, 2017

Personal Growth

Not long ago I met a woman in my home, and upon seeing her I said, “How do you get up in the morning?”

“What do you mean?” she asked.

“Because you look utterly exhausted, and we’re only at mid-morning. You look, as we would say in Georgia, like ‘you been drug behind a truck down a gravel country road.’”

She burst into tears. “I’m tired all the time. I’m tired all day, and after a fitful night’s sleep, I’m just as tired in the morning.”

It was no surprise to discover that she had lived in increasing emotional pain and fear all her life, especially in the past ten years or so. She could hardly get out of bed most days. Her problem was not physical—at least not primarily—but simply emotional pain, which had turned into a large component of physical pain also.

I have personal knowledge of how pain can be draining. This summer has been hot—hardly a surprise in Georgia—but I’m also getting older, so working hard in the yard in the sun is becoming more difficult. Today I worked the same time period—and did possibly more strenuous work—than two days ago, but I was surprisingly refreshed at the end of the afternoon’s efforts.

I wondered why, and then it occurred to me that yesterday I had received a trans-foraminal injection of steroids on the right side of my spine, between L4 and L5. In short, I got a shot for a nerve that was being pinched as it came out of the bones of my spine, causing severe, lancing pain over the skin and deep tissues of my hip. Along with the steroids, they also injected a local anesthetic, so today I worked relatively pain free. We have yet to see if this salutary effect will be lasting.

Working without pain was delightful. I worked hard shoveling many wheelbarrows full of dirt, along with other activities, and I did not feel tired when I finished. I have learned this lesson before, but had forgotten it, that pain can be even more exhausting than physical effort. The effort without the pain was actually energizing.

Most of us work with emotional pain—often quite severe—so we feel exhausted all the time, regardless of our activities. Because we’ve become accustomed to the pain, which has existed from early childhood, we fail to recognize its effects, so we attribute the exhaustion to our circumstances: our job, our kids, our spouses, and so on. But the overwhelming cause of the exhaustion is simple pain.

When my physical pain was relieved, my exhaustion was virtually eliminated. If we find the Real Love we need, thereby eliminating our emotional pain, we find a miraculous source of emotional and spiritual energy, dissipating the exhaustion that has, in many cases, been debilitating. I have seen this relief so many times that it has become almost predictable. Find the love you need. Lose the pain and find the energy that will allow you to become who you really are and have always wanted to be.

PCSD

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