Post # 341          PAIN

At the very time of this writing, we are uncomfortably ensconced in the Executive Offices of, nursing a painfully injured right knee and occupied in an alternate, shifting and re-shifting, of our position in a frequent, and so far fruitless, endeavor, to discover some comfort.

Times like this, afford ample opportunity for rumination, and we seem to have a tendency to conjure up previously unremarked subjects, for written reflection. Our relevant preoccupation, under the circumstances, seems to be, admittedly, with the general and competing concepts of pain and comfort. Yet, since “physical” pain and discomfort, are unfortunately, all too frequently experienced and universally understood, our elective subject is the quest for relief and comfort, at times of uncomfortable, “emotional” challenges.

There would appear to be a differential and varied level of equilibrium for each individual, ranging widely from the placid persona, to the highly charged one. The status of each individual’s nuanced equilibrium, and the extent of his personal tolerance for stress, may already be somewhat known to each individual, based upon his recollection of his experience concerning past stressful situations.

Since we are not professionally qualified to make useful observations regarding personalities whose upset is eternal, being the result of disorder or pathology, such categories of sufferers are not included within the scope of this writing; those unhappily challenged individuals should, of course, pursue their goal of comfort with the aid of a qualified physician. The theme of this post is limited to, and merely concerned with, more mundane, commonly encountered, situational life challenges.

Even in times of unremarkably routine, everyday life, we may suddenly find ourselves confronted with difficult, critical choices and personal challenges; some of which are, in various degrees, anxiety producing and personally disconcerting, depending upon the affected individual’s resilience and nuanced past experiences. Most capable individuals, possessed of a reasonable amount of personal empirical experience, or who have witnessed analogous problems and solutions, on the part of other societal members, will have an advantage in accepting and resolving presenting problems, with the assistance of past perspective.

At times of personal challenge, in our observant and empathic experience, the dual possession of a stable self-image and an acceptable level of self-esteem, are the most critical. The latter qualities, built, in part, upon previous problem solving experience, result in an enduring and useful reality- based confidence.

A highly tempting, but certainly far less useful, response, to the presentment of a stressful problem, is the initial, defensive impulse of avoidance; thus putting off, at least for the moment, the uncomfortable expenditure of anxiety, and a possibly laborious search for solution. Not unlike our present attempts to discover a comfortable position for our injured knee, the same amounts to an attempt, merely, at ephemeral comfort, as opposed to a realistic aspiration for a solution. In reality, it is an unhealthy and ultimately costly, postponement of the need to accept, and to come to grips with the problem. More profoundly, perhaps, we suggest, it may be remembered as a tacitly personal, confession of weakness and incompetence, undoubtedly, having an evaluative impact on the solution of the current problem, and one’s self-esteem and self- image, with negative dividends, predictably, for future challenges.

The painful challenge of our injured right knee will, in its time, resolve itself. Would that more complicated and significant challenges, similarly, have the marvelous and convenient capability of self –resolution!



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Retired from the practice of law'; former Editor in Chief of Law Review; Phi Beta Kappa; Poet. Essayist Literature Student and enthusiast.

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