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There are Only Two Kinds of Pain

by Dr. Gerard Cassista

When you stop and think about it for even just a second, it is easy to see that in all of life there are really only two kinds of pain. One is the pain of discipline. This can be very painful. It is painful to get up early to go work out. It can be very painful to go without certain foods because we know they are bad for us. It is painful to stop smoking after so many years, to stop drinking after so many years, to take time for ourselves, to say no to more work, to pay extra for organic food, to take extra time to prepare that food and to pack it to bring to work. It is painful to see others go out to eat while we eat our box lunch. There are so many things we can think of that are painful, but we all know we probably should be doing or know we should stop doing. These things are painful, and many people are not willing to pay the price, not willing to feel the pain now, so they think they choose the no pain route.

The other pain I was talking about is the pain of regret. Ask anyone who is dying from cancer due to smoking about the pain of regret. For many, the pain of regret is worse than the physical pain they are suffering. Talk to someone who is morbidly obese, diabetic or having heart problems because they were unwilling to feel the pain of going to the gym, eating right and staying fit. What about the person who worked three jobs to buy the kids all the things they thought they should have, then finds themselves alone when they are gone and realize they never even got the chance to enjoy those kids because they were at work all the time. The pain of regret is extreme. It is much more severe than the small pain of discipline. It is not even a contest!!!

A very true fact about this is that we all wind up with one of these pains. The good news is that we get to choose which one we want. We make the choice every day. We choose every time we pick something to eat, decide what to do with our time and relationships and how fit we decide to stay. That’s right, we choose. If we don’t choose the pain of discipline, we automatically get the pain of regret somewhere down the road. That is how the whole thing works. Those are the rules.

So which would you rather have, the pain of discipline or the pain of regret? You decide. Live consciously, be aware that you are making this choice daily, don’t just let yourself slide into the pain of regret; you probably won’t like it much at all!!

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