Suffering is a call to change pain into wisdom and compassion; an opportunity for transformation and growth. I get that, but understanding it and living it are two different propositions. I see the way. I have to let go of my stuff; my plans and surrender. Just give it over and let it be what it will. Accept the life we have been given and find the goodness in it. I know this surrender is the only way to survive the tragedy of Morgan’s death. I think I am actually doing it at times, but the mind is tricky.

Without my even realizing it, resistance and backward thinking start to creep into my head. Internally I replay all the what ifs, why us, its so unfair, and in an instant I am right back at square one in a puddle of self pity – its indulgent and not helpful.

As a nurse, when I give an injection, I try to position the arm so the muscle is relaxed. I explain to the patient not to tense the muscle as I enter the skin to minimize pain at the injection site. This is the key; to soften to the piercing of pain. Don’t resist. Accept the pain. If you can, even embrace the pain, engulf it, and allow it to pass through you. Use it. Be opened by it, more connected and more compassionate to our shared vulnerabilities and weakness.

This is a hard lesson, but I’m motivated by knowing that the fellow who doesn’t listen and really tenses up his arm during an injection often ends up having to get stuck again.

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One Response to “Gil Harrington’s thoughts from June 11th, 2010”

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