Blog: Reframing your hurts

Acute back pain, particularly the kind in which one wrong twist can send you into severe pain, changes every aspect of life, at least for a few days. Sitting, lying, walking, eating, sleeping — during every single activity, you protect yourself from the pain.

Emotional pains are the same. An emotional pain that's strong enough to capture your attention for the better part of the day can become your mind’s only focus. Unlike most acute backaches — which usually are short-term visitors — emotional pains can find a home in your brain for a lifetime.

Thankfully, it doesn't have to be this way. You can heal emotional pain with a number of timeless values. Gratitude, for example, helps you remember that the hurt could have been much worse. Say you have shoulder pain. It could have been not just a muscle sprain, but cancer that has spread throughout your body. In this case, gratitude helps you realize that your pain could be caused by something much worse. In turn, your gratitude for this realization can help you focus on the positive, rather than on the pain itself.

Compassion can help you remember the millions of people who have pain that is worse than yours, those who have no one to empathize with their pain, those who get no rest from work despite their pain, and those whose treatment doesn't relieve their pain. When you focus on compassion for them, you can ease your own pain.

Here's another example: Of all of the joints and muscles in your body, one or two will get sore at times. You can either fight this reality or just accept it. With acceptance, a light shines, allowing you to find meaning in your pain. Maybe your pain is signaling that you should become more disciplined about keeping yourself fit. Or maybe your pain is preventing something worse that you don't even know about.

With gratitude, compassion, acceptance and meaning, you can rewrite your own scripts. Ultimately, these values can lead you to a place where you can erase the hurts, with yet another tool: forgiveness. Forgiveness completely removes hurts from life. Forgiveness clears the mind of negativity so that love can find a place in it. Through forgiveness, you remain light, free and fully available to experience the magic of life.

May your hurts spur you to deepen your anchor in these timeless values; may a deeper anchor in timeless values decrease your hurts.