Tuesday, November 9, 2010

"If I knew then what I know now"

Novels, shorts stories, movies, etc., have described plots about people going back in time and bringing their life experiences back to a period before they happened. In those scenarios, they can utilize that knowledge acquired (though not really yet acquired) to avert mistakes, disastrous decisions, and other catastrophes in their lives.

I always thought it would be an advantage if I could somehow bring all the knowledge I acquired throughout my life back to the beginning of it. I think I would have been a kinder person, kinder to all those I engaged under strenuous confrontational circumstances, more sympathetic of other individual's shortcomings, weaknesses, and their own 'scar tissues of life.'

Unfortunately, we learn from the many experiences of life those things that make us better people, and, as older people, we live with much of the distress caused by many of those experiences that brought forth much of that acquired knowledge–those things that made us better people. All of us live with some personal suffering for any hurt we might have caused to others. And therefore, many of us wish that we could have had that sensitivity earlier in our lives so that we could have been better people then. But, we wouldn't have learned the meaning of sensitivity without participating in those things that led us to understand it. Ironically, we have to go through that learning experience of life to better ourselves.

Many who suffer from continual trauma to the mind, body, and emotional self (chronic pain) often ask why they have to suffer. An answer could be: so that they can learn the knowledge that brings wisdom and an appreciation for life. Most sufferers don't want to hear that, and want no part of a purification process that brings them to a higher level. A focus on complete relief, or, the fantasy of somehow traveling back to a time before their condition existed so that they could have prevented it is all they will for. Most don't reflect on the possibility of a greater harm that was averted because of their pain, and a greater, however, different way of suffering that was prevented by their chronic pain. They don't realize that, as hard as their pain and suffering is, a greater hell could have existed for them without the knowledge that their pain has given them.

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