what pain teaches

I really should have seen it coming, but I didn’t. First swing of the hammer and my finger found the edge of a concrete block.

I swore. A LOT. It bled. A LOT. Way more than one might expect, FYI.

My dilemma: stop what I was doing, go inside and clean it up OR finish what I had barely started.

I once heard that Navy SEALs will pack a bullet wound with dirt to stop the bleeding if that’s all they have available. Well, I gave it a try. Rubbed a little dirt on my profusely bleeding finger and kept on swingin’. It worked and I finished the job feeling like a total badass.

Here’s the thing – I really wanted to quit. I wanted to retreat into the air conditioning, lick my wounds (metaphorically, of course) and maybe try again another day. But I knew that wouldn’t get the job done and I’d be mad at myself for letting a little pain and blood get in my way.

Am I talking about physical pain or emotional pain right now? I honestly don’t even know because the lesson I learned from this kinda applies to both, don’t you think?

Pain has become one of my best teachers, like a sadistic little Yoda full of wisdom and guidance. I just need to listen to him. Sometimes the lesson is “Stop what you’re doing, dummy or you’re gonna die.” However, many times it is simply asking me “How badly do you want this thing you’re pursuing?”

As much as I’d love to never ever experience pain, I can’t avoid it. It’s part of life, so I might as well learn what it has to teach me along the way.

By the way, if I die from some dirt-borne disease, will someone promise to tell this story at my funeral? And don’t forget to mention what a badass I was.

2 replies
  1. Amber Blankenship
    Amber Blankenship says:

    You know how sometimes in church it feels like the preacher is speaking directly to you? That somehow the message was exactly what you needed to hear? That was this post for me today. I’ve been on the struggle bus for a while and needed someone to tell me to keep swinging the hammer. Thanks!

    • Mark
      Mark says:

      Thanks, Amber. And for the record, I think the preacher is ALWAYS speaking to me. I need that much help from above. 😉


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