Oct 25, 2009
The human Mind is the strongest tool that we have at our disposal. The mind is an unbelievably complex, unpredictable yet obscenely powerful. It is able to save a life or take one. It is also able to create a smile or frown. With all of its unseen, not understood or even matched power anywhere in the universe, how shall we expect to control its power? How shall a mere human use the minds power in a positive way? If the mind can have such a positive power could it also carry a negative influence on our body? And, if so, how can we prevent its negative power on our individual body?
A young teenager has learned carpentry from his father. He loves his father dearly and doesn't want to let him down. The father has asked him to build a new wall to put up in the interior of the barn they are building. The boy knows exactly how to do it. Early in the morning he arises ready to work, grabs a bite to eat and sneaks out the door. He doesn't want to wake his parents as he knows this is one he 'must' do alone for his own sense of self worth, for his own confidence. And just to prove he 'can' do this he can make it happen all alone. So off to the barn he goes.
Thinking to himself of everything his dad has taught him. He knew how to make a cut nice and straight; how to reinforce his studs, corners even how to build up the needed headers to sturdy the room. Yes I can do this no problem he thinks as he opens the back door of the barn. Inside he rounded up all the tools and a couple pairs of saw horses. He sharpens his carpenter’s pencils. OK, he thinks, I'm ready. So off into the room to be remodeled he goes.
That is when his confidence takes a small hit. The lumber is all there waiting on him. What he didn't know in preparing for this job was that his father had rounded up enough old barn lumber to do the job in order to teach his son a valuable lesson. He wanted to teach him "Don't just 'do' the job." in other words "Think about it, plan it through" use your brain don't just pound nails but use all the tools you have at hand. The ones you don't know how to use, well those are the ones you need to perfect. You see the barn lumber was coated with old milk paint and full of nails. The boy was not aware, the father was, that below the surface of the paint was 100 year old native hardwood. Even once his son learned how to square the boards and pull all the nails he still couldn't complete the task. No, first he must learn how to get the nails into the very hard and sometimes brittle hardwood. You see this wood was so hard that a nail could not be driven into this wood by conventional methods. And it was going to take much work and many new skills in order to make this wood into a useable resource. But the end result to the father would be a son who would understand the need to think things through. The true meaning of 'Don't just 'do' the job'. The father was not asleep as the son had thought rather he was awaiting his recognition of the skills he had yet to learn. They spent the next week learning how to make do with what you have. Together the father taught his beloved son that in life every situation has a solution, he just needed to learn how to evaluate his options.
In the end the room was built of this native hardwood. Once surfaced, squared and drilled the walls went up easily. And oh, they were so strong. The boy, now a man because of the control and thought process had learned from his father. How to prepare this pile of junk wood into a marvelous home not just the mere wall that was originally intended. A home so wonderful neighbors from all around simply flocked to take a tour. This room seemed so strong that even a tornados mighty power could not take it down.
The story could continue, but the point here is not the inherent perseverance of native hardwood. Or even the thoughtfulness of this boy’s father. No, it's the need to look at every situation with hope. In the situation with the least visible hope there is always the brilliance of a mighty star somewhere. It is up to us to find it. You see the boy had at his disposal jointers, planners, huge drum sanders, radial saws, table saws and virtually every woodworking tool you could imagine. Yet he still didn't know what to do with the pile of junk wood. Why? He had yet to learn how to 'think it through' and utilize the tools at his disposal because he didn't know how to use all of them. The correct tool was not the closest or the easiest to use, no it was the one that took more effort but in the end provided the best results. The same is true of us....
Just as the boys mind 'learned' first to listen then how to make what he learned work, we too need to learn that lesson. There are times when many with chronic pain simply must use the pain relievers that doctors have to offer. But what is the lasting result? Is it pain relief that can last more than a few hours? Is it happiness or a better relationship with your spouse, mother, father or child? When the pill bottle is empty; what happens to your indestructible house? Ask yourself when was the last time that those pain pills really allowed you to get up and go participate in some activity that you really enjoy without paying the price later? But the pain is so very real; we all know that to be fact. People with Chiari are not alone in this world in learning to cope with pain. This brings us back to the most powerful tool of all.
What is the most powerful tool we could use to eliminate pain? Could it be a Komatsu D575A-3SD bulldozer? Or perhaps the Saturn V Rocket? A Nuclear Reactor? Or maybe you would say the most powerful tool known to man must be a Thermonuclear Bomb with such power at its disposal what could possibly be a more powerful tool? You are correct, not one of these awesomely powerful tools will eliminate a simple headache let alone the chronic pains that you may suffer. Let us think about something for a moment though.... The tools listed above all have very different purposes do they not? Very different designers even. But they all have one thing in common. What is that one thing?
It took the power of the human mind to create each and every one of them. The power of the human mind is needed also to even use anyone of those tools for good or bad. What about your mind, does it contain power over your own body? Well not enough to stop sickness or death, we all know that is in the Almighty God's hands. But can we teach our mind to build a beautiful house with our life, despite the pain? The answer is yes, YOU can.
As with the young boy who built such a wonderful room, it takes effort and lots of willpower. But we can do this! The benefit, your body is now yours again. And now you have power over the doctors who want you to vegetate along in life as in reality that is how many doctors see their responsibility to their patients. Yes, you have the power within you to harness your own life. Does pain disappear; of course not we can't perform miracles however we can control our thoughts. Ahhh.... but the power we have within ourselves is held within the brain. Our own brain.... yes, it controls your vital functions and as it pertains to this discussion the brain is the very epic center of pain. As the synapses fire it feels the pain impulses from our nerves. It feels what our body tells it to feel. However at times we perceive what it tells us to feel.
For example, the other day while working in my small woodworking shop we had a small accident. I was building a beautiful box like container out of contrasting woods for my wife’s kitchen. While sizing up the pieces for a perfect friction fit I deduced the need to use a board and small mallet to fit the bottom into the top. So I gave that piece a good smack with a 2 pound mallet, check the piece- all looked good- so I gave it a good smack to drive it home. Well it was cold outside so I didn't notice that when I smacked it I'd smashed the end of my finger right off, literally. It stung but didn't really hurt so I ignored it. A few moments later I noticed the blood on the floor and then looked at my finger. Upon seeing my finger the first thought into my head was "Why doesn't it hurt?" well of course then my brain registered and I did feel it.
This shows us that to a degree we can control out pain. As in the example the key is to control not only what we do but what we allow ourselves to think about. Such as a marathon runner, on mile 20 of a 21 mile run you must not allow your mind to focus on your body or the next thing will be your body shutting down as you realize the pain and utter exhaustion.
With Chiari, this can be even more difficult as the cerebellum is involved. It can however be your best tool in dealing with Chiari. Medications are a very limited and limiting tool. Many meds may actually cause you to 'feel' that your symptoms are worse over time. This is not to say that all meds are bad or useless, sometimes they are an 'evil' necessity for a time. To really live your life you must give the brain credit as your best tool to true peace of mind.
These thoughts.... well some, I realize, may take offense. To those.... I'm sorry you feel that way, truly. However, as the saying goes "been there done that". My life from birth on has been one of constant and chronic physical pain. The thoughts you see here are from a life of experience in dealing with pain. It has taken much time to learn to "focus out pain". You really can accomplish this goal. It is never complete, in other words you never completely focus it out. Sometimes, some days the best you can do is control what you allow yourself to do. Recognize ahead of time that if you do a certain task there will be a price to pay. But most of all, when the pain is the worst 'under no circumstance' allow yourself to think about how bad it really feels. When you do give in to the despair that chronic pain can bring, if you do, then you will be the runner that quit on the 20th mile of a 21 mile marathon. Drugs... well they just cannot offer you the freedom or the power you already possess in your own mind. For you see, here is the key, that power in your mind that we speak of does not come from you.
No, that power is ours to harness, but only by means of the one who created the mind itself. For even the most grandiose of doctors out there is still going to be limited by their own imperfections. The one who created the human mind; he has the power and the will to help you learn to control your thoughts.
Again, no, he won’t do it for you. It is your responsibility to ‘carry your own load’ as the scriptures state. But our creator does plead with us to allow him to help us in our every plight until the day when his kingdom comes. He tells us that when we allow him to handle our every anxiety that he will provide to us the ‘peace of God that excels all thought’. Yes, we can do much to alleviate our own suffering with our marvelously constructed mind. But it is only by allowing our creator to help us guide our thoughts that we can truly release it’s true potential. By allowing the almighty God to work with us then we can learn to cope and find happiness rather than frustration with this thing called Chiari and truly release the power of the human mind.
With all of it’s complexities the true power of our own mind to help us is only clouded and blocked when we give in to narcotics. You truly can learn to be content with the situation in life where you are by using the power of the human mind coupled with the power of the Almighty.