by Nancy Casey
If someone says, “No pain…” and then pauses, zillions of people will automatically say, “No gain.” Maybe you are one of them. A person might say it out loud, or they might say it in their mind, a message from themselves, an anti-affirmation.
“No pain, no gain” is a half-truth. Half-truths are dangerous thoughts. The true half lets in the false half. The false half can hurt you.
The true half of the statement, of course, is the idea that in overcoming pain and healing from its effects, a person learns and grows a lot.
The false half is the hidden implication that the first step on the path to growth is to inflict pain on oneself. Or to appreciate it when someone else does.
The full truth: Pain hurts. When there’s no pain, there’s no pain.
Today in your writing, celebrate the idea of being pain-free.
Begin, as always, by setting up your page. Draw a line at the top where you will write your title when you have finished. Set off an area for drawing or doodling if you want to.
Write the words, “No pain.” Then write down something that is possible in the absence of pain. Describe it a little. Or describe it in great detail if many details come to mind.
Then start a new line and write the words again, “No pain.” What else is possible in the absence of pain?
You can imagine the absence of certain pains in your own life, in the lives of other people, or in the whole big world. To keep from dwelling on the pain, don’t describe it. Just write “No pain,” and move on to describing what’s possible without it. When you think about the absence of a particular pain, sometimes you get derailed because there are so many ways to think about the pain. If that happens, interrupt yourself, ask, “And what would be possible without it?”
Nobody who is alive and aware in the world gets very far without experiencing pain. As you fill up this page you will create pain-free pockets in your imagination. Use your writing to enjoy what they are like.
Give your work a title when you have finished. Write the date on it as well.
You can share what you have written by posting it as a comment below. To do that, you can type in your work. Or post a picture of it.
A group called “Write for You” meets every Thursday at 5:00 pm at the Recovery Center. Anyone can drop in. In each class, people do a page-writing exercise like this one and hear a little pep talk about writing. There is also a closed group where people share their work. Someone who works hard and jumps through a few hoops can earn a Writing Certificate. You can get all the info by coming to the 5:00 class. Or find out more by contacting Nancy or the Latah Recovery Community Center.