“Take chances, make mistakes. That is how you grow. Pain nourishes your courage. You have to fail in order to practice being brave.” ~ Mary Tyler Moore …
How many times have we avoided certain things because we were afraid of the pain? Here, we are told that pain is important, as it “nourishes our courage.” Surely, it is a fundamental part of our lives; after all, we cannot leave this world without experiencing some degree of it. Yet there are those of us who spend many years trying to escape pain–accepting loneliness out of fear of rejection or neglect. And others, who because of their fear of failure, settle for mediocrity and lack of fulfillment. How many opportunities have we missed out on simply because we were not willing to take risks that might have caused us more pain than we thought we could handle?
Over the years, I have found that my fear of pain and the unknown continues to diminish in the wake of each passing day. I find that with each pain I endure–whether it is physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual–my strength and my courage becomes greater as a result. In fact, nowadays, I often even thrive on risk. I find that life is much more dynamic and interesting if I focus on what I can do, instead of on what I feel I cannot do. Call it growth, call it maturity, call it what you will–I, like Mary, have come to realize that pain is temporary, and the pain that I do experience, whatever it may be, helps me to grow stronger, to become braver–knowing and understanding myself more intimately than I had before.
We simply cannot reach new heights if we continue to go about doing the same things each day. So many individuals feel frustrated at having “plateaued” in life; and their frustrations can only be dealt with by finding acceptable risks to face and then taking those risks. In truth, the things that we do not know or understand will always seem more frightening to us than what we know. But the unknown is what holds all the beauty, all the treasures, and the mystery in life.
In short, as the old saying goes, “Pain is temporary, pride is forever.”
Embark upon new and exciting challenges in your life.
Questions to consider:
Why do we tend to avoid pain at all costs? Can we evade painful things forever?
What does pain indicate to us? What are some of the things we can learn from it?
What are some difficult things you have faced that been very valuable to you?
For further thought:
“When an apprentice gets hurt, or complains of being tired, the workmen and peasants have this fine expression: “It is the trade entering his body.” Each time that we have some pain to go through, we can say to ourselves quite truly that it is the universe, the order and beauty of the world, and the obedience of God that are entering our body.” ~ Simone Weil