Joy in the Midst of Pain

This Mindfulness Monday is provided by Guest Writer, Karen Potter, with appreciation of the Mental Health & Recovery Board for all their support and care.

 
Joys in the Midst of Pain
 
We all know that life is full of joys and challenges. Sometimes the challenges last for a season, not just a day. It’s those times when challenges start stacking up or weeks go into months or even years, that it is difficult to stay hopeful that better days are ahead especially if those challenges involve physical or emotional pain.  
 
That is exactly what I felt, as I recently have gone through 3 surgeries and recoveries as well as other painful conditions in my body over a 2 year period.  I wondered, and still wonder, if there is an end to the pain.  Yet, I still dare to hope and believe that better days are ahead.  I had been a person who was so driven to accomplish as much as possible in a day, and now feel like a snail in a marathon.  What I didn’t expect was all I would learn through this time, as life slowed down and there was time to reflect. 
 
I learned that life and time continue on, whether you are in pain or not.  If you wait for everything to be perfect and for all the pain to be gone in order to enjoy life, you will miss out on the joys that are hidden in each day in the midst of pain.  I learned patience, endurance, perseverance, humility in asking for a lot of help, and to listen to my body for ques on what it needs.  
 
I also learned the importance of being grateful for all the blessings in my life and that are all around me.  I have reached out to others for support and to offer support, as I realize how much we need each other in this world. I can hear the birds, see the trees swaying like they are waving to me, and appreciate the sweetness of fruit on my tongue and the pleasure it brings.  I notice people’s facial expressions more and wonder what life is like for them.  
 
I encourage you to slow down the pace and notice the beauty around you…in nature, in wholesome foods, in music, in smiles, and in the acts of kindness received and given.