Thursday, May 26, 2011

A paper cut

Comparing Pain

You hear it all the time “it could be worse” and it’s true, it could be.  Many times that statement is followed up with the things you still have or people who do maybe have it worse than you do right now.

The problem is in the comparison.  Many times people forget that it’s all relative.

If you take the worst pain you’ve ever felt in your life, no matter what it was, that would be the worst pain you ever felt.  For me, it would be an un-medicated cesarean, but I’m sure if you asked someone who had their arms slowly severed off they would say that my pain was nothing in comparison, that I didn’t know what real pain was.  Just as it would be easy for me to tell someone that had never had anything more than a paper cut that they had no idea what real pain was.  But, I would be wrong, just as the armless person would be wrong in telling me that I didn’t know what pain was.  It’s all about what you have to compare it to.

I think the same is true about loss.  It shouldn’t be a competition between who has experienced more or worse loss.  And I won’t be as cavalier as to say loss is loss, because I don’t believe that. 

I think that what it comes down to is pain is pain.  Hurt is hurt.  It is so important for us to be there for one another as human beings, as mothers, as people.

I think there are times when it’s really hard to step back and remember that when the worst pain you’ve ever had is a paper cut, that paper cut is going to hurt like heck and even through our own pain and hurt it’s important to practice empathy for those suffering with a paper cut.

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