As I mentioned earlier, my dad recently had knee surgery and had a serious complication that resulted in an additional 2 hour surgery requiring him to have to fast (fluids and food) for 3 days while he was still forced to walk around on his new knees. It’s hard to even imagine the discomfort that he was in, the only thing I could occasionally remind him was that it won’t always feel like this and that soon he will be walking around and recovering from the pain.
When we are in a position of discomfort, what makes the discomfort unbearable is not just that we are in pain, but rather that we project our current emotional state into the future. Feeling the full weight of all of the discomfort in every moment rather than taking each moment by itself. This can be true of almost every other intense emotion as well: cravings, anger, even excitement. We see the emotion as never-ending and so pushing through this moment because even more difficult.
This perspective of discomfort jades our view of the future leading us to further worry and more pain and this can cause poor decisions that are based on shifting emotions. The best perspective, especially in extreme discomfort, is to only bear each moment on it’s own. To truly live in the present.
If you’re not presently in a position of discomfort, that won’t last either. Hard things will happen as well and have in your past. You can remember back to those difficulties, recognize how non-ending that seemed at the time, and how it is not as painful as it was. When hard things happen in the future, this can prepare you for remembering that these times past.
It won’t always feel this way.
[This post was not inspired by a current discomfort in my life, but is something that I often use to try to encourage those who are going through difficult times – and is something I remind myself about when I go through the same]