How Can Pain Be Good?

Dr. Paul Brand, leading doctor in the breakthrough study of Leprosy in the 70’s and 80’s credited the absence of pain as one of the main contributing problems of this disease. A lack of sensation causes a leprous person to damage their body unwittingly.

It occurs to me that some of us may have removed pain from our emotional docket. Because of incredible, at the time insurmountable hurt we thought it best to not ‘pain’ anymore. For many, that would seem to be a logical decision. Close off to hurt, close off to pain. It’s the childhood vow. “I will never let anyone get close to me again!” After a rape or abuse or extreme humiliation, who would?

Leprosy has done this in the ravage of its disease. It has stopped the pain mechanisms in the body over time of those affected and thus enabled the damage that we have seen in the pictures. Medically it has been battled and has dropped from worldwide millions in the 80’s to hundreds of thousands today. But I wonder how many millions perhaps billions of people have emotionally stopped feeling. How many impenetrable walls erected? How many blockades placed?

At the time, these looked like protection but have proved to be tactics of isolation and loneliness. Eliminating pain can be so damaging and destructive, life altering and sometimes ending.

Today, just for the moment, would you be willing to feel again? Would you be open to taking the path out of your past to begin new?

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