Don't Blame The Mirror

dsc_1711A mirror helps us see areas that we cannot see, namely blind spots, in order to make judgements that lead to safety, appreciation, correction, or change.

To many of us life would be very different without a mirror. In fact some tasks, such as driving, would be lethal without one. That is why in Britain and in most other countries it is illegal to drive without driving mirrors.

Pain is a biological mirror- it brings our attention to certain things in life that we would otherwise overlook. Pain also helps us to make necessary changes to improve our life or appreciate the things that we normally take for granted. A mirror is morally neutral, since it has no moral inclination the mirror just shows you the scene the way it is and it is up to you to judge what you see accordingly, so is pain.

By definition pain is an uncomfortable feeling triggered by an abnormal functioning of the body. When you get your hands on a hot object, for instance, you feel pain – meaning something is interfering with your normal functioning in your hand and therefore you should take your hand off. Once your hand is offa hot object pain starts to ease. In this respect pain is a good thing that helps you correct the bad thing for your body – a heated object that burns your hand.

Pain is not our enemy but a friend who shows us the enemy. When you look in your mirror and see a dirty spot on your face you don’t get angry at the mirror because you know the mirror has nothing to do with the dirty spot. Likewise we shouldn’t be angry at the pain because what pain does is to let us know something is wrong somewhere that pain itself has nothing to do with it. Pain was meant by God to be a crude guide not as a tool for punishment. It is a beeper in our Spiritual Navigation System that warns us that we are heading towards the wrong direction. Once we are back on track the beeper stops. All we need to do when the pain calls is to listen to what it is trying to tell us, be grateful for the message and use it for our advantage.

From a biological point of view, pain is our body’s best friend. Without it, our bodies will be numb, boring and lifeless. Pain is a natural regulatory functioning of a healthy body. Without the ability to feel pain in the body is paralyzed and therefore deprived of natural ability to regulate or safeguard itself. In this respect pain is our friend that tells us that there is a problem somewhere. Pain itself is not a problem, but it is your trusted bodyguard that alerts you of a problem.

The feeling of pain in any area of our life – in a relationship, career, or our finances – indicates that there is something in that area that needs fixing. Pain is a genuine alarm that shows that something is wrong somewhere in our life that needs fixing. Once that problem is fixed pain goes off. Instead of complaining and being upset about it countless people locate the fault and work harder to make the necessary amends.

Pain allows us to put things into perspective. I mean we tend to understand and appreciate things better in the presence of their contrasts. For example, it is easier to see a gray spot on a black drop than on a white drop. A gray spot appears brighter on a black drop than on a white drop. Experts call this phenomenon Law of Contrast Effect. What this means in practice is just difficult to appreciate beauty without ugliness, riches without poverty, happiness without sorrow, success without failure, freedom without slavery, and health without illness.

Pain and pleasure are contrasting dimensions. If you are unable to feel the pain, you are also unable to feel the pleasure. Pain is a backdrop that makes pleasing experiences feel even more pleasurable than in the absence of it. We tend to treasure things in life after experiencing their painful contrasts. For instance, as mentioned already, we tend to appreciate our health more after recovering from an illness. People who pay a heavy price for their success tend to treasure their success more dearly than those that had an easy ride.

Few days ago, I snapped my pinkie finger accidentally. Boy, it was painful. Until then, I had never thought how important my small finger was. Pain – which is a measure of how important the painful thing is to you – puts things in to perspective. More often, we never appreciate certain things until we feel the pain of their ailment or loss. We tend to appreciate health after experiencing illness and know how we loved people after they have left us.

Pain was meant by God to be a natural guide not as a tool for punishment. It is a beeper in our Spiritual Navigation System that warns us that we are heading towards the wrong direction. Once we are back on track the beeper stops.

In this respect, it is safe to say the pain is the greatest thrust to success. Psychologists show that pleasure and pain are the most powerful motivators of human behaviour. Everything we do isin attempt to either gain pleasure or avoid pain. Simply put, pleasure and pain are the greatest motivators of success. Nonetheless, of these two, pain is the strongest.

People hate pain. That is what they are willing to do what ever is within their powers to avoid, minimize or eliminate it completely. That is why the greatest achievements – the greatest inventions, discoveries, businesses and victories – are born out of intense pain. Practically speaking, great achievements are simply solutions to critical problems. High achievers- the movers and shakers of history – attained their success after encountering life threatening experiences. They used personal pain as leverage for their discovery or attainment of an achievement.

A fine example is that of telephone invention. Alexander Graham Bell is the one credited with inventing the first practical telephone. His life changing invention was fuelled by the desire to find a way of contacting his mother and wife who were deaf.

It has been rightly said without pain there is no gain. This is because pain is the thrust for success. Without pain people have no motivation to achieve anything. It is for these reasons great people consider pain to be bliss to human kind and use it to leverage for their success.

My prayer is for you to be able to use your pain to achieve something significant for God’s glory.

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