Happy Mother’s Day and a heart to heart on getting the most out of suffering. “No pain, no gain” has annoyed me for years. So, what does it have to do with Mother’s Day? I can’t wait to tell you.
No pain, no gain lies and truth
I guess my biggest objection to the saying no pain, no gain is that most people seem to imply that pain is always beneficial. A destructive painful disease should be able to convince anyone that’s not true! Pain from suffering we don’t deserve is never good. Period.
A lot of life falls into an uncontrollable category (even the weather). And some of it can be overwhelming. Rheumatoid disease can be both. It’s not fully controlled in anyone because it always progresses except in the mildest cases. And many of us live with completely uncontrolled disease 24-7-365. Most find it overwhelming.
But the question is what CAN you control? And how CAN you gain from suffering unfairly?
Making no pain, no gain work for you
Your response to challenges is the thing that you can control—and what no one can take from you. No one ever wanted RD or any disease or obstacle. But let’s look at exactly how we can let it be beneficial anyway.
Jeff Cavaliere is a physical therapist and trainer I sometimes listen to. Jeff talks about “getting comfortable being uncomfortable,” which reminds me of when I wrote ten years ago about how RD makes us more compassionate. As Jeff says, life’s not necessarily comfortable, and accepting that life IS uncomfortable helps you to overcome.
It often works just like a workout: It feels impossible to do something, but we accept that we have to, so we push through. Later we realize, “Hey if I can get through THIS, then I’m definitely strong enough for the next challenge.” We gain confidence and feel truly empowered because we chose not to give in.
Others have to create character-building challenges in the gym or on the track or whatever, but for us, it’s often just getting out of bed or every step we take through the day that’s a built-in challenge.
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Others create character-building challenges @ the gym or whatever but for us, just getting out of bed & every step is a built-in challenge #rheum Click To Tweet
My Mom and no pain, no gain
Actually, the no pain, no gain saying can sound pretty uncompassionate to people suffering from a terrible illness. It seems like a heartless way to say, “just look on the bright side.” I’m so thankful my mom never gave me advice like that. Instead she took this approach: “You can get through this. See how strong you are.”
Did you know it’s actually biblical? In Genesis 50, Joseph tells his brothers that even their scandalous mischief was meant by God for good in the end. Knowing that made a difference to Joseph. And this is how my mom has encouraged me over the years and I have never stopped looking for the good that can come from my struggle. It can make us stronger if we let it.
Happy Mother’s Day, MOM!
WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT NO PAIN, NO GAIN? CAN FIGHTING CHRONIC ILLNESS MAKE A DIFFERENCE? CAN ANYTHING GOOD COME FROM HARD THINGS?
- The Rheumatoid Arthritis Self-definition Fairy
- Reaching Beyond Limitations: Nike versus Yoda
- Rheumatoid Arthritis Breaks Your Heart