The Truth About Pleasure and Pain

Psychologists and physicians tell us that another one of the human brain’s amazing abilities is to help us forget about painful things.

Not to say that we cannot remember hurt from years ago, but that we don’t remember it in exactly the same way.

The death of my mother and father is still sad to me but my visceral response is not the panic and disbelief I felt hours and days after they died.

A painful childhood has a way of sticking with us for a lifetime yet if we felt the pain exactly as it happened we might not be able to move on.

Denial is often the tool by which we deal with pain but even that tool betrays us if we also do not deal with our hurts and then also move on.

Same for pleasure.

If you remember the birth of your daughter, the promotion to partner, the first time you felt financially secure – it is still a great thought but not exactly as it was when it happened.

Fulton Sheen used to say when we get what we want, we no longer want it so it is often better to let go and experience life’s ups and downs with fewer preconceived demands.

Our mission then is to deal with life’s problems, not necessarily solve them and the human mind helps us along the way so we can stay focused on that goal.