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Therapeutic Thursday: being grateful for pain

Normally we associate this handsome devil with political satire or hilarious comments. You may even associate him with just cracking up.

He has been through an incredible amount of pain though. His father and two of his brothers died in a plane crash when he was just 10, leaving him and his remaining eight siblings with his mother. The family moved and Stephen found himself very isolated and so got into geeky things like Lord of the Rings and such. Due to a surgery he is deaf in one ear, which sidelined his hopes of studying marine biology. He went to college to study philosophy and quickly changed to be a theater major. He wound up working for Second City and a handful of shows now leading up to his Late Show hosting gig. His mother died a couple of years ago, which was very hard on him.

Despite everything he’s been through, Colbert is an amazing guy. It’s true that we don’t always get to see the real him, but so much of his compassion and love for others shines through in what he does. He’s big into charities and helping children especially. He just donated a ton of money to help South Carolina public schools.

He has this great quote that I think really sums up everything I know about him… and having a crush on him, I know more than I probably should… *shifty eyes*

“Don’t be bitter. Everybody suffers. If you can accept your suffering then you will understand other people better. Be grateful for pain. Love life.”
-Stephen Colbert

It’s an interesting concept for those of us in chronic pain right? With my PTSD and the like, I can be grateful because they allow me to be on guard and keep me away from toxic people. But how do you do that when you’re body has gone awry?

I wish I could explain it. Personally I find myself more grateful for my pain now. The biggest part of that is, I think, my compassion practice and meditation. Treating myself with the same compassion I might show my sister when she’s in pain has led to me loving myself more, which in turn has led me to loving the broken shitty body I live in. It’s not my knee’s fault that it hurts. It’s not my immune system’s fault that it doesn’t work right. Something happened to cause that.

Not everyone can define their cause. I’m lucky that the abuse I witnessed has helped me to remember much more details than others… and yet it’s possible that this abuse caused this illness. It’s hard to say for sure, but I believe it did.

What parts of pain will you be grateful for today?

Speaking of pain, want to hear how others cope? Join me on my MedX journey Sept 24-27! I’ll be live tweeting the whole time so hit me up@kirstie_schultz, catch the live streams at the Medicine X website, and join in the conversations using the tag #MedX.

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  1. It may sound odd but I am so thankful when the regular day to day pains of my conditions are my primary issue. I'm thankful for the days that are at my strange baseline. When other symptoms kick up it usually means my conditions are changing, and that is scary.

    I am also thankful for emotional pain and struggle, I firmly believe that we can only see light to the extent that we've experienced darkness. Depression and PTSD through healing has given me a stronger sense of self, despite a broken body I love myself more, and definitely appreciate things more. I also agree with Colbert on empathy, since becoming super physically sick it has become insane. It's my job to relate to people, and these days that is never a struggle.

    I also find since becoming super chronic that I no longer waste time, including wasting time by taking things too fast.

    Awesome write up on Colbert too, have you heard the Stern interview? It talks about his life A LOT.

  2. Aw shucks thanks! I haven't heard the Stern interview but I'll have to check it out. Colbert is my favs.

    I totally second your comment on empathy. It's amazing how much easier it is to see other people's pain when you deal with your own – and how much more willing we are to help others.

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