There is No Bad Day – Chapter 2
Meet your new bunkmates
The day after Kelsie’s birth, I noticed a minor burning sensation inside my butt. Weird. I didn’t think much of it. The next day the burning worsened a little. The discomfort made sitting at my desk difficult. By the following day I could not sit down at all without major butt discomfort. Pain had wedged its toe in the door.
Four days later on a Friday, I finished my work by noon, using a newly jerry-rigged “standing office desk”, made by stacking filing boxes on my desk to set my monitor and keyboard on. I could no longer sit comfortably for more than a few minutes. I had planned a camping trip in the mountains with the kids and some friends, so Nan could recover with Kelsie at home in peace. But when it came time to leave, a raging fire in my butt consumed me. Instead of packing the van, I curled up in the fetal position on my bed. Pain had now shoved its way inside the door and set up shop. And he brought his buddy Concern along for the party. OK, I admit my welcome doormat may have belied my true feelings in the moment as I attempted to close the door on them.
“What is going on here? Can we go back a week please and start this over? I’m pretty sure I learned my lesson with pain already. I’m good, thanks!”
“No? Bummer. Clearly I have more to learn…because this hurts!”
The intensity of Kelsie’s birth day had clearly triggered something wacky in my body…but what?
It reminded me all too familiarly of waking up with Nausea from stomach ulcers for three months starting the day after our son’s birth eight years earlier.
Thankfully after about 30 minutes laying down the pain eased up a bit, so I quickly packed the van, loaded the kids, and made the 2 hour drive to camp, shifting constantly in my seat. The pain finally died down that evening and happily we all enjoyed the evening roasting marshmallows and hotdogs.
The following week the pain intensified a little each day. In the mornings I felt OK, each afternoon severe burning incapacitated me, and by dinner the pain would settle down again. At 8 AM on August 9th I squirmed and shifted in the dentist’s chair for 90 minutes. Root canal? No problem! The torture was the burning backside. Surviving that, I worked all day in moderate pain, mostly flat on my back in bed with my laptop. Recovered sufficiently, that evening the kids and I ran the “Pearl Street Mile” road race, a fun family event held each summer in downtown Boulder. We had trained for months. The kids did the half mile and then I raced the mile loop. Despite laying down in pain and discomfort most of the day, I had apparently recovered enough to run my fastest mile time ever – 4 minutes and 37 seconds. The goal of 4:30 was a stretch, so considering the circumstances, I smiled big at beating my previous best by 7 seconds.
However, the next day my new taskmaster ‘Concern’ had me scheduling with two different butt specialists (i.e. Gastroenterologists). But with the soonest appointment still a week away I had to somehow make peace with my new companions.
There Is No Bad Day
Meanwhile, my coffers still apparently overflowing with patience and positivity, I wrote this on August 13th on my blog:
There’s No Such Thing As A Bad Day
Will today be a good day or a bad day?
For me, today, and every day, is a good day.
Last year I realized that there is no such thing as a bad day unless I decide there is. I realized we all actually have the power to make today either good or bad simply by deciding.
I didn’t fully realize that before then. I used to think that I wasn’t in full control of whether I had a good or bad day. I thought bad days were an inevitable part of life.
I was wrong.
I no longer believe that, and I have proven it for myself. And I can help you prove it for yourself.
And it can make a massive difference in your life if you let it.
As I write this I am just barely recovered enough to type as the pain in my body has settled down a bit after about 4 hours of intense, burning waves of pain in my rectal area.
I’m not sure yet what is causing the pain in my body. I have two appointments with specialists scheduled.
Today I have been curled up in the fetal position for most of the last 4 hours, trying to breathe, be at peace, and learn from the experience. This has been a daily occurrence for the past week or so. I have been asking myself over and over, “where is the benefit in this adversity? What is the advantage of this pain?”
I have also been reminding myself that “All these things will give me experience and will be for my good”. And I know they will without a shred of doubt. I know absolutely, without doubt, that this pain I have been experiencing the past 16 days since the birth of my 4th child is here for a purpose. And I know that a lot of good will come from it.
I don’t know how. And I don’t know what yet. But I do know that it is for my good, and the collective good of all. And I consider myself blessed and feel very grateful for that faith.
In the meantime, I am actively seeking knowledge and wisdom, clarity and peace within. And I am finding them in abundance. In December and November 2011 I experienced an intense sore throat pain that lasted for a month, during which I discovered how to enable that pain to become my servant, reminding me to express gratitude and experience joy even in pain.
That experience embedded into my heart and mind the knowledge that my circumstances don’t determine my life…my thoughts and my faith do. And right now today I am grateful for another opportunity to grow. I am grateful to have this new experience with pain because I know it is going to be for my good and enable me to do more good for others.
I certainly wouldn’t have consciously sought out this experience. And it came seemingly randomly the very day that my daughter Kelsie was born on July 28. But I know that nothing is random. All things have purpose. And I will find the good in everything that shows up in my life. Because I know from experience that is the way to Joy and Abundance.
And I can tell you that I have not had a ‘bad day’ since December 2011. No amount of physical pain is capable of causing me to determine that today is bad. And if every day, the rest of my life, brings with it physical pain, then so be it. I know now more than ever that physical pain cannot and will not stop me from experiencing Joy.
Because I absolutely love today and I embrace it and I thank God for giving me another day of life. I thank our loving Creator for an amazing and beautiful, precious new baby girl. I am in absolute awe and amazement that I have the privilege to be such an integral part of this person’s life.
I could go on for hours on how amazing life is and how blessed I am. As I write this, tears are streaming down my cheeks. Not from pain, but thinking about how full my heart is with the love I am surrounded by. My beautiful wife is sleeping soundly next to me, resting while Kelsie sleeps between meals. My 4 year old Ali and 8 year old Abe just came in to tell me with excitement of the ‘Squeenky castle’ they found on Amazon that Ali wants to buy with the money she earned weeding outside this morning. It is so wonderful to see the love Abe has for Ali, and the joy they experience together.
And I get to be a part of all of it! And I have the privilege of being called ‘Daddy’ and all the kisses and hugs and love that come with that. And I cannot hold back the tears. As I ponder and write about this it feels like my heart is overflowing out my eyes and trying to burst out everywhere.
I feel so blessed. I am so amazingly blessed.
So if this pain is here for nothing else than to remind me, and to remind you, to count our blessings, say thank you, and express our love, then it is sufficient. I will count it a worthwhile cost.
But I know there is more than that still. Our universal source and creator is eager to pour out blessings, abundance, goodness, joy, and happiness into our lives. Our task is simply to allow the flow. We just need to align our thoughts with the love and gratitude vibration that allows all goodness to flow to us and through us.
If we choose to think “Why me, why is this so hard? Why don’t things work out for me?” Then we are choosing to stop the flow of goodness, abundance, love and peace into our life and we are holding ourselves apart from a truly amazing life.
Those thoughts are like paddling upstream. Just stop fighting the current and let yourself flow.
Instead, in times of comfort as well as pain, say “Thank You.” Look for the good in it. And keep on saying that. We will absolutely find reasons to be grateful. Say “I love you God. I trust you God. I love you self. I trust you self. You are capable and all knowing. I know that all things that happen are for my good, and I trust in time I will see how.”
And we will find the good in ALL things.
We get exactly what we look for. That is one thing that is meant by “Ask and ye shall receive.”
So, will you join me in DECIDING that there is No Such Thing as a Bad Day? I invite you to do so.
This Is A Truly Amazing Life!
Reading that now fills me with gratitude for the preparatory experiences of the previous eight months. Although, the commitment to never consider a day ‘bad’ could have been asking for it! I mean, seriously, what was I thinking to state publicly to the universe (or even all 5 of the people who read my blog) that “No amount of physical pain is capable of causing me to determine that today is bad.”? God must have chuckled to Himself and thought “are you sure about that? Let’s find out whether you really mean that.”
OK, maybe, maybe not. But I’ll tell you why I said it: I believed the truth that ALL things are for my good. And making the conscious decision to trust in that regardless of what comes our way is vital to experiencing a fullness of joy. If we wait until the storm overpowers us to decide how we will react to it, we are likely to make a poor choice. I believe God smiles on that type of faith. I think I was ready for even greater growth.
Life is painful. It’s ‘full of pain’. And there’s nothing we can do to change that. Nor should we want to. The question is what are we going to do about it? We try and try to get around pain, to mask pain, to avoid pain at all costs, and numb the pain. But it’s not going anywhere! It’s part of the deal-e-o yo! So why not just embrace it and choose to see it for the good that it is even before it happens? Why not commit in advance to never considering a day as ‘bad’ ever again? That is called faith. And faith is literally power.
If you come up with a better solution than that, please let me know…I’m all ears!