In October 2000, I injured my back. 7 back surgeries have left me with "failed back surgery syndrome"; a name doctors created when there was nothing more than can do. Due to nerve and muscle damage in my back and left leg, I use crutches. My friends have learned we eat at restaurants with high tables so I can stand (sitting is very painful after just 10 or 15 minutes).
The other day a friend took me out to run some errands. We stopped to enjoyed lunch. During our conversation, my friend said something that stuck with me. "Pain in only one aspect of you. There is more to you and our friendship besides your pain. Yes, it's there, and I'm aware of it, but we don't focus on it."
I am more than "just my pain". When I think about that phrase I realize how true it is. Yes, my day and what I do is determined by my pain, but the pain is not all of me. There are many aspects of my life that my pain doesn't need to impact. I can still care about someone. I can still encourage someone. I can be creative. I can carry on conversations about any topic that I find interesting. I can still learn. The list continues.
I am more than just my pain. There is more to me. Yet, it is up to me if I allow other so see more than just pain. That doesn't mean I do things I can't. It simply means that I don't make my pain the most important aspect of my life. I have a choice.
I don't want people to know only my pain. I want them to know about me, the person. I want them to know that my favorite color is green. I enjoy drinks with a lot of ice. I love snowcones anytime I can get one! I want them to know about Max and all the funny things he does. I want them to know I enjoy laughing and a good mystery.
Pain is only one aspect of me!
Creating a positive day is remembering that pain is only one aspect of my life. If I focus only on my pain, I rob myself of the joys and blessings God provides.