“Pain—who needs it!” we think whenever we’re in it. We see no good purpose for pain. It seems to be a pointless exercise in suffering. If someone happens to mention spiritual growth to us while we’re in pain, we most likely snort in disgust and walk away, thinking we’ve never encountered a more insensitive person.
But what if human beings didn’t feel pain—either physical or emotional? Sound like an ideal world? Not really. If we weren’t capable of feeling physical pain, we wouldn’t know when to blink foreign particles out of our eyes; we wouldn’t know when to stop exercising; we wouldn’t even know when to roll over in our sleep. We would simply abuse ourselves for lack of a natural warning system.
The same holds true for emotional pain. How would we have known that our lives had become unmanageable if we hadn’t been in pain? Just like physical pain, emotional pain lets us know when to stop doing something that hurts.
But pain is not only a motivating factor. Emotional pain provides a basis for comparison when we are joyful. We couldn’t appreciate joy without knowing pain.
Just for today: I will accept pain as a necessary part of life. I know that to whatever level I can feel pain, I can also feel joy.