We have all known pain. Whether physical, emotional, or spiritual- pain is not a respecter of persons; it does not play favorites. There are all sorts of studies on pain and how we experience it, why we hurt, who (and why) has a higher tolerance for pain, and the various methods that people use to combat pain. We can study pain all day, but the bottom line is, as long as we are alive, stuff will hurt.
For about a year (or more) I’ve had a particular pain that I just couldn’t overcome on my own. Nothing I tried on my own helped, so I knew I needed help.
I’m a pretty big believer in chiropractic care and complementary medicine, so I decided to research some of the various options in our area. In a roundabout way, I was led to a particular local chiropractor. He did all the usual tests and x-rays that they do, and then he “got crackin’.” Now, a few months later, there is great improvement in all the various things that had been wrong- I’m so thankful.
YOUR PAIN STORY
In the process of these treatments, I have learned that there are a lot of ways that a person can hurt. Every session includes someone sitting down beside you and asking, “How have you been feeling?” And you know what, most people who are in pain will go into great detail to describe how they hurt.
I will admit that I am initially skeptical about someone who asks that question. Aren’t we just supposed to say, “Fine”? Does anyone actually want to hear my pain story? Yes, they actually do want to know about your pain, because how you answer that question will guide how they treat you.
BEYOND THE BODY
But we have other hurts than physical. There is so much sadness, loneliness, anxiety, and emotional upset in this world. Unfortunately, there are too few caring hearts to bear the burdens with us, too few trusted souls, so we tend to carry these hurts with us. Just like the problem I sought treatment for had grown over the past year, these emotional and spiritual hurts that are left untended will bore down deep into our spirits and sometimes will begin to change us into bitter people that bear little resemblance to the persons we want to be.
HOW WE TOUCH
Something else that has been driven home to me over these past few months of treatment is that part of healing is in how we allow ourselves to be touched. When you walk into this particular office, you are touched in so many different ways- some are obvious, some are not. From the music that plays in the background, to the hugs and laughter you enjoy with the staff, to the actual treatments that you get, there is healing in every moment.
It has really made me think of all the ways we “touch” each other, and how these touches can be sources of healing for those around us. Do we share genuine smiles with strangers? Do we express sincere gratitude for those who are serving us at stores and restaurants? Do we encourage those who have made mistakes or experienced failures and make them want to try again? Or do we speak negativity into a broken soul? Do we mock or minimize failures of others? Do we live with the belief that people deserve to bear alone the consequences of their choices without sympathy from others?
We live in a world that needs more healing touches. If this world is going to change for the better at all, I believe it is going to take an army of individuals who make a determination to be those healers- to step outside comfort zones, to risk rejection, to brave the inconveniences that helping can create, to prioritize our values and time, and ultimately to see the priceless value in other hurting humans and make our own lives a healing place.
How we hurt is rarely up to us, but how we touch is always up to us. We have the power to tear down or build up. Consider how you can be a part of someone’s healing in the coming days.