Video: The Gift of Chronic Pain

A woman takes a closer look at her illness with the help of Byron Katie. At the start of their inquiry, she discovers that her beliefs about herself have hardened her suffering into place.

“So, sweetheart,” Katie asks, “’You’re in physical pain constantly’—is that true?”

Maria pauses, and when she finds that her genuine answer is no, she sighs.

“You just got some of your life back, ”Katie says. “I, too, used to believe I was in constant pain, but through The Work I got pieces of my life back that I didn’t even know existed.”

After examining the consequences of her beliefs, Maria discovers examples where the opposite of her belief is as true or truer. Katie then encourages her to find examples of why she is actually better off not doing the things she can’t do. “I look at all the reasons I’m better off not walking,” Katie says, referring to a time when she was crippled by neuropathy. “And the whole world opens up. That’s the gift of pain. Everything is a gift, when we see it with a questioned mind.”

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  1. thank you, your work is truly a gift to the world. Exploring your site called to mind this poem:

    The time will come
    when, with elation
    you will greet yourself arriving
    at your own door, in your own mirror
    and each will smile at the other’s welcome,

    and say, sit here. Eat.
    You will love again the stranger who was your self.
    Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
    to itself, to the stranger who has loved you

    all your life, whom you ignored
    for another, who knows you by heart.
    Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,

    the photographs, the desperate notes,
    peel your own image from the mirror.
    Sit. Feast on your life.
    Derek Walcott

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