Dharmist in Progress

"Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid." ~ Einstein

No Pain, No Gain?

on May 18, 2012

As a twenty year old with Fibromyalgia, this statement probably means something entirely different to me than to most of you.

First off, it implies that it is possible not to be in pain.

Have you ever had one of those headaches that throb for so long, you subconsciously start to ignore them?  Then, suddenly, you walk out into the sunlight or bump your head on something, and boom! there’s that headache again.

Fibromyalgia can be like that at times.  Sure, I have bad days where all I can think about is pain.  But I also have those headache-forgetting days, where I don’t realize how sore my back is until I bend over, or I don’t realize how weak I am until I try to lift something moderately heavy.

So how can “no pain, no gain” even be possible, in a literal sense?  I’m always in pain, so shouldn’t I always be gaining?

How about spiritually?

In Christian churches, the question that always makes the preachers visibly shudder is “Why is God doing this to me?  Why did He give my grandmother cancer?  Why did He allow me to be laid off, and lose my house?

Their answer, minus all of the flowery language and preaching, is: “No pain, no gain.”

Now, as much as I dislike their choice of answers, and their way of making you feel silly for even asking, these preachers are correct.

If I hadn’t had bad experiences with Christianity, I would never have considered another religion.  If I hadn’t gone to that awful college that put me into a considerable amount of debt, I wouldn’t have met my fiance, or learned about Hinduism.  If I hadn’t been feeling spiritually drained and hopeless, I would not have begun reading Project Conversion.

Now, obviously, not all pain leads immediately to a gain.  Not everyone can appreciate these things.  Not everyone will believe this post.  Sometimes the gains are so tiny, that it seems as if the universe is mocking you.  Like if your best friend broke your limited edition action figure, and bought you a crappy common one to replace it.

Wouldn’t that make you angry?

Of course it would.  But look at it this way: your friend cared enough to buy you a replacement.  They may not have understood the difference in the two action figures.

The universe, whether you believe in Jesus, Brahman, or something else entirely, doesn’t always give you what you want.  It doesn’t always give you what you immediately need, or what you need on some level.  You might feel that your emotional need has not been met, despite your physical need being taken care of, or something of that sort.

And do you know what?  That is okay.

It’s okay to feel cheated.  It’s okay to be angry.  But remember who you’re talking to.  Mama may think she knows best, but she’s got nothing on (G)od.  You hate your job?  Well it can put food on the table while you look for another.  Can’t get your novel published?  Maybe you’re meant to write poetry, or children’s stories.  Or maybe you just need to keep trying.

Okay, not entirely on topic, but still…

Sometimes happiness, depending on your definition of the word, can be hard to find.  But, oftentimes, that means that you’re ignoring the happiness that is right in front of you.

Don’t believe me?

How many romance movies (or movies with romance) end with the person falling in love with their cool friend instead of the incredibly sexy person who is full of themselves?

Think on that a bit.



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