Islamic Tolerance and its importance in our life
The Role of Tolerance in a Life of Chronic Pain
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If you live withchronic pain, you have changed. Haven’t you? It’s like going to war, getting divorced, being widowed, or losing a child. You are not the same. Change doesn’t always have to be a bad thing; I could have said it’s like falling in love, getting married, giving birth, or achieving a life-long career goal. I just happen to think negative change has a more profound effect on each of us. Perhaps that’s because it forces us to do something we did not choose to do, become someone we did not want to become and can cost us careers, finances, loss of bodily image, and sometimes, loved ones. Negative change makes us angry, and out of the heat of anger we change.
We all hope to achieve balance in our lives. Physical balance is important because as our bodies change we are more prone tofalldue to morphing of joints, weakness, or loss of muscle control. Finding internal and mental balance is also difficult to achieve but equally important. I’ve been writing about pain for many years, journaling my own experiences and getting feedback from thousands of others who also have pain. One fact we all have in common is the crossroad we reach. It’s a choice as to how we are going to grow, learn, and change.
There’s a wonderful movie out calledDolphin Tale. It’s a true story about a dolphin rescued on the beach in Florida who loses his tale due to infection after it is wrapped in fishing line. Morgan Freeman plays the role of a doctor who specializes in designing prosthetic replacements for wounded warriors, and he is drawn into the rescue efforts of this dolphin, Winter. He is asked to design a new tail for Winter, and after many attempts and failures, he succeeds. Mr. Freeman’s character speaks a line in this film that is amazing in its profundity. Addressing a young, wounded soldier, he says( and I may get a word or two out of place), “You’re only hurt. You’re not broken.” It’s a good reminder we are not torn asunder, lying in pieces, or irreparable. We can find a way back. Coming back, we might find ourselves in a new “place,” but it will be our new home.
It’s important for each of us, as we find our way back into life, to be tolerant of others who are also fighting. Each of us is different, has an individual road to travel, and will find our own answers. They may not be my answers, they might not be yours, but it is the right of each individual to search, to be disappointed, to be angered, and to eventually find some resolution.
Thousands of individuals read this every week and each one is traveling along their own road, limping, jogging; in a wheelchair or hiking; crying orlaughing. Each of us is privileged to be endowed with our own minds and opinions. There is no degree of pain except for you, the one who has it. We can know empathy and sorrow for someone who suffers, but we can only feel, physically, what we personally experience. There is no contest nor are there contest winners in this macabre event. We are, each of us, losers until we decide to become winners. My way to that place may be on a different path than yours.
Life is full of surprises, and so often when one valuable asset is taken from us, we discover within us another one we didn’t even know we had. Life is malleable like a piece of clay if we allow it to be. We have to bend. We have to learn and grow. We have to stop grieving, eventually, for the old self, the old body, and the old way of life in order to find the treasures that lie ahead; in order to open that new door, the old one has to be closed. Remember, even clay will eventually harden and dry, making it impossible to bend.
One of the most valuable lessons we must learn along this road is the one of tolerance. Tolerance for that arrogant young doctor who is waving his new diploma in your face as he tells you nothing is wrong with you; tolerance for the well-meaning friend who tells youflaxseedwill make you whole again or the neighbor who complains about your weeds being too tall.
We often have to have tolerance for those who ignore us, push us aside, or think we’re addicted to the pain pills we take in order to walk across a room. Even among our friends in real life and the cyber world, tolerance is needed. Medical people can be the worst at times, thinking they have all the answers for everyone. Even among nurses and doctors, you often find it difficult to get three of them to agree on anything.
Tolerance is a wonderful quality because it allows us to put up with fools without becoming angry. It allows room for us to expand and grow and gives us the heart to appreciate the wonderful doctors we find, the close friends, the faithful lovers, and joys of a pet. Help along the way, hugs, and wagging tails are all wonderful and can be found along this road. Just watch where you step.
Video: Beautiful video about tolerance
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