Special needs adoption from a Jewish perspective.

Special needs adoption from a Jewish perspective.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Fear and Pain

Pain and fear are important signaling devices for the body and soul, respectively.  It is the loss of pain sensation that causes leprosy sufferers to lose limbs, as they are unable to feel any injury.  Loss of fear can cause us to do stupid things and walk into mortal danger.

We are not meant to live in pain and fear, though.    Pain and fear are signaling devices intended to prompt action.  If we touch a hot pan, we should recoil, not "get over the pain" while our hand is slowly sauteing... If we have muscle pains while walking, touching our toes, or reaching for a high shelf, however, we would want to address the underlying problem, not just avoid the action that caused the pain.  So pain tells us to look for the problem, and then address it, whatever it is.  It may be a simple recoil, or a difficult diagnosis and lengthy treatment.  There are times that we need to "push through the pain", but permanently living with pain is not something that we would choose while we can still seek alternatives.

Likewise with fear.  Fear of heights, darkness, and loud noises is perfectly rational!  All of these are potentially risky situations.  In each case, though, once we ascertain the actual danger level, our fears either subside or prompt us to take protective actions, such as holding on to a handrail, or preparing to defend against a potential attacker.  These are rational actions which ameliorate the dangers that were signaled by the fear.  As in the case of pain, though, being paralyzed by fear is not productive.  Avoiding height or darkness in all situations is not a healthy way to live.  Ignoring height or darkness in all situations can lead to injury or death.

What are you afraid of?  How can you address the fears?  Not ignore them or avoid them, but actually identify the causes, resolve them, and move on with life?

No comments:

Post a Comment

Jewish Bloggers
Powered By Ringsurf