Dream to hurt or hurt to dream?

What do dreams and pain have in common? We have all had nightmares that awakened us in fear and trembling. Those dreams have often contain frightening experiences remembered or imagined. But do painful experiences cause us to dream? No I don’t mean that your sleeping in some uncomfortable position. No, I don’t mean that stubbing your toe will make you dream.

When that stubbed toe hurts long enough we may wish for a day when it didn’t. What other pains to we have in our lives and how do they make us dream? People often ask me, “do you want your site back?” And the real answer is I’m not sure.

My limited eyesight reminds me daily that I am limited. It reminds me that I must depend on others. It reminds me how dependable others are. Recently I wrote about helping and being helped and how the two are hard to distinguish.

There was a time when I felt like I could do almost anything. Sometimes I still do. In reality I’ve always been limited. I was not the best athlete in school, yet I felt I could be a better athlete with practice. I found few opportunities to play sports. I realize that because I wore glasses and they would not stay in place there were many sports my eyesight limited me in.

What do I want out of my life? That has been a quest upon which I have spent several years. For a while I just let things happen, to see what would happen. I then asked what can I still do? In trying to read computer screens I realized I needed a screen reader. Going back to school taught me that I still love to learn and could do so. I learned I could still write and many people enjoy what I write. However all that is in the present.

Dreams are not just about the past but also the future. None of us know for certain what the future holds. If we have a dream we can shape our future. In college I decided to go to medical school. That dream has shaped much of my life and who I am. My strong grounding in science makes it challenging for me to accept alternative modes of healing. Yet, as I look around I see many people who have been helped by those modes. I am writing a series of blogs about those alternative healing modalities.

This blog is the first in a series looking at symptoms. Pain is the most common symptom that brings people to a doctor. Doctors spend much time and effort trying to treat pain, and have made great strides in the recent decades. Many people continue to have chronic pain and find Western medicine to be grossly inadequate. When Western medicine tries to evaluate these other means they usually find them ineffective. Yet, some people clearly benefit from them.

What is the benefit of pain? Pain is a strong motivator. If I am hurrying down the street about the only thing that will get me to stop is a stone in my shoe. Would I rather be taking a stone out of my shoe or getting to where I was in such a hurry to get?

But when we are in pain we have a new reality. That stone in my shoe meant I had to put something before my destination. When we become ill we have to set our dreams aside at least for a while. Over the last several years I have had the opportunity to evaluate my life. I realize I never had a clear dream for my life. I wish I had sat down with a life coach and considered the possibilities. Now that I suffer from poor vision I have the chance to dream of what my life can be. Part of that dream is to help others dream of their new lives.

How has pain made you dream? Is your life better because you hurt?

As All Ways, Seek Joy,

coach Dr. Dave

author of the forthcoming book, “recipes for lemonade(thriving through disability): Dave’s personal recipe “.


3 thoughts on “Dream to hurt or hurt to dream?

  1. Hi Dave. Good questions here about pain. Initially the pain brought me closer to myself and myself alone. My world was very narrow, living day by day and sometimes moment by moment. There was no dreaming. There was BEing.

    The pain continues, but I have learned to address those needs. I now live life in a much more mindful manner. I think before I act. I know how my body will respond (usually) to certain activities and I have to make wise choices. No longer am I running on auto-pilot being the super mom/wife. And I have learned to stop or modify what I am doing BEfore the pain totally immobilizes me.

    Now is the time to dream. Being unable to return to the work I previously did has freed me up to pursue other possibilities for my life. I, too, love to learn and I continue to acquire knowledge that I wonder when/if I will use it. I have this opportunity in the middle of my life to explore a future that I never dreamed of. Now I can dream.

    What does the future hold for me? Will it perhaps be one of my dreams? I believe in intentionally making the future happen by our choices and actions today. Right now my choice is to prayerfully seek the will of God for my future.

    Is my life better because I hurt? Pain is only a portion of my life. Yet when it is out of control it is a major part and NO my life is not better–at that moment–because I am in pain. But, my life IS better because I have gone (and will continue to go) through this experience. It is something that I could not have dreamed of. It is not something that can be prepared for. It has allowed me to see myself as well as all around me from a different perspective. It has given me more information about myself and the world. With more information I can make better decisions. And it is those decisions that create my future.

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