Joys and Pains

By Brendan McCann

’17-’18 Service Year
April 2018

An unfortunate reality of life is that pain is inevitable. Pain by itself is not necessarily a bad thing. Most of the time pain is just the body’s way of telling us that we’re doing something that we shouldn’t be. Thankfully the human body is able to withstand a lot of pain, but there are limits. When someone holds their hand over a fire eventually they become so burned that they can’t feel the pain anymore. They become numb to everything that is happening to them. So then why is it that the things we care about the most are the things most capable of hurting and numbing us? We set goals in our lives which we strive to achieve but there is always a great deal of stress and anxiety that comes with the work. Our relationships with other people can be the cause of some of the most devastating things in our lives. Getting into a fight with a best friend, falling for someone who’s not interested, ending a relationship, or losing a person who you can’t imagine living without. All of these things seem unbearable at times. However, even though there can sometimes be pain with our goals and relationships these things are also capable of filling us with joy. There’s no feeling in the world that compares to achieving a life-long goal and life is all about the relationships that we get to form with others. So the question becomes; at what point do we decide that the pain isn’t worth it anymore? Where do we draw the line and say I need to stop before I become too numb to feel anything? Unfortunately, there’s not a really good answer for these questions. It’s a decision which needs to be made by you, but before you make it you should stop and ask yourself a couple of questions. Do the moments of joy outweigh the moments of pain? Is this goal something that I’m really passionate about? Does this person make me truly happy, and can I do the same for this person? Are the moments I had when this person was alive more powerful than the sorrow I’m feeling now that they’re gone? The best way to sum it up is by asking yourself; is this something worth fighting for? If the answer is yes, then fight like hell because the other thing that everyone needs to know about pain is that we can always handle more than we think we can. Even when our body is telling us to stop, our hearts and our minds are always ready to fight a little longer.

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