How to Learn From the Pain of Living

I kill people nearly every day at my job. I’m not an assassin. I’m a local T-V news writer. I cover earthquakes, terror attacks, fires, car accidents, shootings, and stabbings. In fact, my ability to creativity convey death makes me a frequent obituary writer too. This weighs on me. My own mortality has been threatened by an autoimmune condition and the side effects from the drugs to treat it for more than two decades. So, I try to find ways to avoid thinking about dying.

As I woke up on January 1, 2018, I decided I wasn’t going to make a resolution, I was simply going to live. However, I wanted to live better, smarter and happier. But how?

I already meditate, stretch/exercise, read, keep a gratitude journal and pray. I even wrote my memoir about struggling my rare medical condition. It was cathartic but something was still missing. I figured out that I needed to take a positive lesson from all the pain I endure, witness or hear about every day. So, this year, I’m not only recording what happens to me but what I can learn from it to live better.

By day 8 I was ready to quit; that is until I spoke my co-worker/friend Ashley. I was mentally exhausted from work and my back pain was intensifying. I told her I wasn’t going to write an entry. She urged me to do it, not to give up. As the words left her mouth, I thought about a conversation with my neighbor; that became my blog post. I was happy when it was completed for two reasons. I had someone in my life encouraging me to push through any obstacle to reach my goals and my neighbor taught me it’s important to live through the pain of loss.

I’m not certain what I’ll discover each day but I know I’ll keep looking for lessons that life sometimes buried underneath our daily tasks, struggles and pain. Finding these nuggets brings me great joy.

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