I was answering a comment on the Facing the Monster post I wrote recently, and I had this brilliant thought that I wanted to share with everyone.
We all have our limits. Humans are inherently finite. There’s only so much we can do, so much we can take. We all have a tolerance to pain, whether it is physical, emotional, or even spiritual pain and everyone’s tolerance level is different.
An easy way to understand tolerance is to think about pharmaceuticals. Eventually, the patient will build a tolerance to the medication they’re taking. The best example I can give is a painkiller. After taking a painkiller such as Vicodin (hydrocodone) for a long period of time, your body will need a higher dosage to get the same effect that you initially had when you first started the medication. This is known as tolerance, and it has the same definition for pain as it does for pharmaceuticals.
As someone who suffers chronic pain, I know this all too well. I’ve had chronic pain for 14 years now due to a car accident that left me with a neck injury, degenerative disc disease, osteoarthritis and bone spurs as well as the chronic pain and migraines. I’ve become very perceptive to variances in the type of pain I have, and its severity. As the years have worn on, I’ve also become more tolerant of it. My pain tolerance level is much higher today than it was 14 years ago.
We all have varying levels of pain tolerance, and those levels change constantly throughout our lives. This tolerance applies to several different areas such as:
- how much stress we can handle
- how much aggravation we can take before we explode
- how much emotional turmoil we can endure before we crack
As we go through life, our ability to tolerate these various types of “pain” increases. It’s as if the pain is a drug, and we’re building a tolerance to it. In the world of pharmaceuticals, this is not a good thing; however, it is a very good thing in life.
Where am I going with this?
I don’t think humans have a finite tolerance for pain. We go through so much in our lives. It’s usually one thing after another. Many people describe life as a roller coaster ride of emotion. I suggest this roller coaster allows us to have an infinite tolerance for pain, stress and anything else life throws at us.
Essentially, the point I’m trying to make with this post is that as we age, we’re capable of tolerating larger amounts of stress, and how we deal with that stress determines the quality of our life.
Most people would probably assume that my quality of life isn’t what it should be (my parents are incredibly guilty of this), and I do bitch about it quite a bit. But my tolerance for the kind of crazy shit that has been happening lately is much higher than it was when I was 22 (I’m 34) and this is something I’ve just realized. Sort of an Ah-Ha moment if you will (which is why I’m sharing it with all of you – sharing is caring!).
So the next time something goes wrong, just tell yourself – “I’m building my tolerance.” Even if things get worse, it’ll be easier to deal with next time. 😀