Let me just get this out there at the beginning:
I am not a subscriber to the "No Pain No Gain" lifestyle.
I happen to believe that I can have a very advanced and lovely life with a minimal amount of pain involved.
When I go for a run and I get tired....I walk.
When I lift weights
If I go for a bike ride on a trail and my....(ahem)....posterior region begins to hurt....I move to the road
I realize that all of these examples are in the realm of exercise.
I also realize that these might be the reasons I have a little trouble regaining the athletic figure of my youth.
Be that as it may....I don't like to hurt.
This philosophy also extends somewhat to the rest of my life.
But....here's what I've noticed.
It doesn't extend quite as far.
In other words....I can tolerate more discomfort for other "life-reasons."
I try to donate blood every three months. It's a great cause and it's a temporary pain.
I let my daughter brush and "style" my hair....and believe-you-me.....that is NOT a pain-free process.
I don't shove my son off of me when I'm reading him a story and he digs his ridiculously-pointy elbows deep into my rib cage. I realize I am on limited "I still want to cuddle with my mom" time and don't want to ruin it.
For me...pain tolerance seems to grow when the "reward" or "reason" is more important.
I have given birth to more than one child.
I had NO pain medicine (sooooooo not by my choice....I am NOT that kind of mom!) with my precious first born...yet I voluntarily chose to go through it again.
The reward was really great.
(Really really great.)
As a wife/mom/daughter/friend....I have actively chosen personal discomfort many times in my life.
Which is kind of funny considering my personal "No Pain Is Fine" policy.
However...there are also times that people are willing to experience pain when there is no "reward"....and perhaps the "reason" isn't completely clear either.
You give your last 5 bucks to the guy on the corner and forgo your afternoon latte.
You volunteer to water a neighbor's plants even though you know
It seems.....that when you really truly care about somebody (whether you know them personally or not!)....you care more about THIER comfort (or safety) then your own.
In fact....there may be times we don't even think about how we're going to be personally affected by something....we just jump in and make sure that "our person" is NOT affected or hurt by that something.
How many of us have stretched out our hand in front of someone we love to prevent them from being smacked by a random flying object?
(Just today I saved my niece from certain death by a flying pink stuffed poodle coming straight at her head!)
How many of us have already (or know we would) put ourselves between another person and something scary or bad?
Is this a "mother instinct"?
I don't think so.
I know plenty of people who do this and are not moms.
Is it a "human instinct"?
I don't think so.
I know plenty of people who are
Is it an "I-know-and-care-about-this-person instinct"?
I don't think so either.
I know of plenty of people who have died for strangers.
I can only give my best guess here.
Love makes us do things that don't often make sense.
Love causes us to put others higher than we put ourselves.
Love leads us into crazy places where we are uncomfortable....yet satisfied.
It might make us instinctively shove someone aside and take the hit that was aimed toward them....
It could make us sacrifice something important to ourselves just because it made someone else happy...
It might make us willing to undergo something horrific just to protect somebody else....
Love could make a human being:
willing to suffer the worse beatings imaginable....
let themselves be publicly humiliated....
be separated from their family and freinds....
undergo real-life torture....
be estranged from their own father....
die a horrendous awful hideous death.
And it could make a person do all of these things completely voluntarily....even when that person could easily escape from any and all of it.
Love is pretty strong.
And to be on the receiving end of that love?
That's just plain humbling.
Is it enough to just receive it and be thankful?
Well...I guess that's a decision everyone has to make for themselves.
But I'll tell you....
It makes me want to go out and learn to love like that.
To LIVE like that.
Here's a long overdue song link:
And here's to love.
Beautiful, scary, and crazy.