The dentist’s chair is perhaps, the most ingenuous torture device man has created to date. It sends fear to those who sit on it, for they know a slow and painful process is going to happen. For many years now, I’ve been visiting my dentist once a month for orthodontics, and I can say each one has left a imprint on my life. There were times when the taste of blood remained in my mouth for long periods of time. Sometimes, the bitter taste of dental acid sticks to my mouth for a day or two. Hmmm… I can taste it right now just thinking about it. And of course, there’s a ton of pain involved.

When I was young, I can still remember the excitement I had when I sat on “the chair”, only to leave in terror afterwards. And after that, I dreaded going back. But what can I do? In short, I screamed bloody murder…

Looking back, I laugh at myself. I laugh at those unnecessary hassles, those wasted energy, that ridiculous anxiety… I now realize that pain is a part of life. It’s an inevitable element that makes life worth living. I can still feel the pain of my dentist’s treatment… Ahhh… There.

But pain goes beyond the physical realm. We all know that there are also emotional and spiritual pains we experience in life. In my experience, the latter is worse than the former. The body can receive so much punishment because we are made to. We can handle physical pain. We have medical facitlities for those pains. But emotional and spiritual pain lasts… And we’re BEING made to handle them. It takes a lot of time and experience to develop this tenacity towards pain. It’s not an overnight process that we handle these kinds of pain. When we have physical wounds, we can treat them with soap, water and a bandage, then we’ll let the body heal by itself. But for ethereal pain, I’ve realized that we only have time and faith to heal us. The wounds of the heart last longer than those of the body’s.

Pain’s a part of life. It’s there when we’re lonely, it’s there when we’re sad, it’s always there, touch is pain in itself! We have to live with it. No doubt. I can see no way to escape hardship. All one can do is charge head-on into adversity. Pain, in a way, is a reality that connects mankind. We all feel pain, and we all know how it feels to be in pain. So though we deny our neighbor of empathy, our “knowledge” on pain will shout out and protest within- in the form of the guilty conscience.

How wonderful to experience pain. It makes life a bit colorful, a bit red and a bit purple. Without it, life would be a mushy and unfulfilling existence. We go through a lot of pain in our lives, and is it just me or does pain make the challenges of life more satisfying in the end?

Hmmm… swelling with a hint of metal-tasting blood. Fascinating.

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