Pain is Inevitable, Suffering is Optional

I can’t for the life of me remember where in the world that I heard this line, but it came to me again this morning after I woke up with my face wet.
“Pain is inevitable -Suffering is optional”

Last night I went to bed with my wife but after an hour or so of tossing and turning I got up, got dressed and headed back to the garage and fired the Netbook up again. I used the time to take care of some tedious work that I have been putting off.

Sometime a little after three o’clock I went back to bed. I still stared at my eyelids for quite a while but I finally fell into sleep... and started dreaming in full Technicolor with surround sound.

When I woke up with my face wet from tears, the pain from multiple places snapped me wide awake again. I had a really bad nightmare... but it had a very good ending.

In the final scene of the movie playing in my head, the identity of the hero was revealed. He was a combat soldier that had been working behind the scenes to win the day. I walked up to him and hugged him and thanked him for what he had done. In one arm he was holding a Netbook that he was using to coordinate communications. Where the other arm once was, there was a robotic limb reminiscent of the Terminator. The last thing that he had said to me was that phrase, “Pain is Inevitable, Suffering is Optional”

It is coming up on one year since I had surgery on my back and to be honest some days it feels like it just happened. It is mentally and physically draining, but the thing that helps me press on is to stop and think about the thousands of veterans who deal with chronic pain. It helps keep things in prospective. Many of these hero’s overcome impossible odds everyday. I realize that my situation pales by comparison and if they can have Hope and the determination to continue on after all they have endured, certainly I can too. Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional!

7:42 a.m.
I was back in the garage firing up the Netbook to check one of my e-mail accounts with that phrase echoing in my head. I have enjoyed a deep sense of Hope this morning, I have chosen not to suffer. There is so much yet to write, so many tasks and projects waiting to be tackled. So many things to teach my daughters.
Something great is going to happen, I don’t know when or what but I am looking for it. I don’t have to concede and allow the pain to dictate my schedule. I don’t have succumb to screaming nerves that follow me like a shadow.

Two nights ago I heard an interview with Suzanne Somers of the “Three’s Company” fame. She was talking about how she had banked some of her stem cells to reconstruct a breast that she had lost to cancer.
Yes, you read that correctly. She actually saved her adult stem cells and doctors were able to regrow it after loosing a breast to cancer! Truly an incredible and inspiring story. Please take a moment and watch it here now.

You can read more about Suzanne's Story at her website,

Medicine and Science are making tremendous strides, there is such Hope for more miracles in the years ahead. Things like nano-bots that turn genes on and off to reverse the effects of cancer or heart disease.
There is Hope that someday soon nerve damage can be reversed. Yes, It’s certainly looking as though it is going to another awesome day!

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