It’s one of the many things we take for granted. We think it won’t hit us. Or we convince ourselves that our strength has no limits, and that should we be hit, we’d fight it off. We say that no physical pain beats emotional pain. I used to say that. Now, I’m not sure.
“There’s nothing worse than physical pain.” said the main character in 1984, by George Orwell.
I’m not sure he’s right either. But somehow emotional pain is bearable, because we allow it to take a different form in order to permit our lives to continue. It’s one of the things that amazes me about the human mind. It’s capacity to overcome, to push through.
About a year ago, on Discovery Science, I saw a very interesting documentary. It was about a woman who’d fallen while rock climbing. I don’t need to describe to you her pain. I can’t anyway. Because for a long time she couldn’t feel it. For hours, she couldn’t feel a thing. She was stranded, and she was waiting. When the helicopter arrived however, the pain of the fall hit her. When she knew she was headed towards safety, the pain turned to life. That is the capacity of the human mind to overcome, to shape pain in a way that allows you to push through.
Physical, psychological, emotional, in any form, our minds have strength we don’t even understand, that we may never understand, but we have the comfort of knowing some inward strength will come.
So, is external pain more threatening than it’s internal counterpart? I don’t know. Some will say it’s the former, others will insist its the latter. I think, it’s neither. We are unable to bear either. We are unable, at times, to fight either, until our life is taken. We are unable. However, we are able, to do the unexpected.