Monday, 23 April 2012

Physical pain or emotional pain? Take your pick

I once wrote in one of my face book notes titled 'my short and sharp' - "physical pain and emotional pain, I don't know which is easier to deal with but I do know it sucks dealing with both at the same time". I also remember supporting a friend's comment on that note that it's much easier to deal with physical pain than emotional pain.
Right now I really doubt that because I'm am drowning in a sea of pain resulting from an injured, swollen gum. Even writing this note is so uncomfortable for me, though the pain has reduced. But yesterday sunday was hell on earth. Boy! It hurt and I wished I could cry the pain away. I spent few minutes pacing around my apartment trying to distract myself from the pain, but to no avail. How did it all start?
Well for a few months now I have noticed my inner gums giving way to my really slow growing molars, though slightly painful at times but it was no biggie. On saturday I decided to eat some bananas and groundnut while waiting for my dinner to get cooked. Only if I had known that I was inviting trouble. Amongst the groundnut seeds there was a Judas who decided to crush hard against my tearing gums. The pain was horrible. I spat out the groundnut and rinsed my mouth and all was fine till sunday morning when my gum began to hurt.
I ignored the pain, thinking it was going to subside like before but I was wrong. Then again, there really was nothing I could do about the situation as I was to travel back to Abeokuta that morning. Gradually the pain increased and reached its zenith when I finally got into my Abeokuta apartment. Like it was being nice to me, waiting till I got home to save me from embarrassment while I was on the road. Words would fail me ti describe the pain I am going through now or the hell I went through last night.
I remember then in primary school we used to sing a song each time the bell rang to signal break time. I never for once thought a particular line of that song would someday apply to me- 'some have food but cannot eat'. Its so saddening because my mum had packed enough jollof rice she cooked specially for me but lo, its in my pot looking at me, warmed up with the many pieces of different meat (beef, chicken and gizzard).
Truth is, it really depends on the degree of pain one is going through because at the moment, I definitely would trade this pain for certain emotional pain I have felt before. At least, even though I had loss of appetite I knew I didn't want to eat instead of this torture I'm going through, having a delicious meal so close to me but yet I can't eat it. To think I had plans of devouring all ten pieces of meat alone before my room mates came back from Lagos. I can't even laugh or dare talk for long. Smiling that once came effortlessly for me is such big work now. Talk of the boy with a broken smile! My inner gums are so swollen I dare not let my upper teeth touch the lower ones. I am currently surviving on fluids. Funny enough I would say its been a learning process for me. At least, I have finally gotten a personal perspective on which kind of pain is easier T☺ deal with. Sick, right?
Still there are certain emotional related pains I would trade for some physical pain. Its so easy to distract one's self from emotional pain: like hanging out with friends, watching a movie, drinking (thought I don't recommend it), comfort food, talking things out with a friend or counsellor or the best way out - listening to good music. Still it depends on the degree of emotional pain as there are different causes of such pain. It could be as a result of loss of money, bad investments, a break up, divorce, death of a loved one, accident, unemployment or loss of job, failure or just anything serious enough to have negative psychological effects on someone.
Talking about physical pain, it could be broken limbs, a cut, illness, cancer or very painful toothache. Truth is the degree of pain varies be it physical or emotional and how one handles and deals with them is dependent on that degree of pain.
So in all I would say, you really can't say which is easier to deal with but one thing for sure is that indeed it sucks big time to deal with both physical and emotional pain at the same time.

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Clearing out the clutter

My garage serves as "storage" for things that don't have a place in our home, and, frankly, there are times when I am astonished to open the door. I don't want anyone to see the clutter. So, periodically, I set aside a workday to clean it up. Our hearts and minds are a lot like that- they accumulate lots of clutter. As we rub shoulders with the world, inevitably, perhaps unknowingly, we pick up ungodly thoughts and attitudes. Thinking that life is all about "me". Demanding our rights. Reacting bitterly towards those who have hurt us. Before long, our hearts and minds are no longer clean and orderly. And while we think we can hide the mess, eventually it will show. Paul pointedly asked, "Do you not know that your body us the temple of the Holy Spirit?" (1st Corinthians 6:19) - which makes me wonder if God often feels like He is living in our messy garage. Perhaps it's time to set aside a spiritual work day and, with His help, get to work cleaning out the clutter. Discard those thoughts of bitterness. Bag up and throw out the old patterns of sensual thoughts. Organise your attitudes. Fill your heart with the beauty of God's word. Make it clean to the core, and then leave the door open for all to see! - Joe Stowell (culled from Our Daily Bread devotion manual. March 14, 2011)