Being Grateful For The Pain Journey

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Hi there, welcome back to Kelly Martin Speaks. I’m your host Kelly Martin and this is episode 76.

Today I am going to talk about being grateful for the pain journey, which is, might I say, not an easy road to take.

Whether we have physical pain, emotional or mental pain or all of this, being grateful for the gifts it brings us can feel a very tall order indeed.

Imagine if you were in daily pain, which I am sure some of you are, to the point that your body hurts so much you have to lie down all day and rest. I have a friend who experiences this, and I have been able to get a taster this week of seeing how it is for her, through my best friend Michael. As I mentioned in last week’s podcast, he got sick for the first time in the 16 years we have lived together and at the time of last week’s episode I just said I was going to the doctors with him.

It turned out that he had not an ear infection but shingles in his face. Now shingles is excruciatingly painful affecting the nerves. Shingles is a reactivation of a viral infection in the nerves to the skin that causes pain, burning, or a tingling sensation, along with an itch and blisters in the skin supplied by the affected nerve.

It is something that can easily be misdiagnosed before the rash appears, so Michael really thought he just had an ear infection initially. So, we went to the doctors and he got his diagnosis and for the first time in a very long time he had to take medical anti-viral drugs for the condition and as with many medications, there were side effects, a lot of side effects.

So, for the past week he has been in incredible pain, migraines daily, difficulty eating due to pain in his mouth, his hearing is seriously affected right now and we both hope it clears soon and he’s been resting a lot. The drugs have given him migraines and nausea and a few days ago diarrhoea.

It broke my heart to be honest and because of worry and stress I’ve had indigestion for over 3 days now, but aside from all of the symptoms and pain it has brought up so much about how much I love him, how much I am grateful for him and so much more. I have had to begin to deal with death, my fear of losing him and an abundance of wonderful triggers life supplied me with.

Receiving What We Need Even When It’s Painful

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Life can be like this, it gives us exactly what we need to experience until we have learned what we need to. I was feeling the fear of loss and working through this, so this, while painful for Michael, has been emotionally painful for me and has forced me to face my own fears.

The pain journey does just that and it does it well when we become aware of its purpose.

I can’t speak for Michael, but it has really opened my heart to how much I need to appreciate him even more than I did before and I can see for Michael it has allowed him to receive me giving him help. Before he met me, any kind of sickness or challenge he dealt with like a strong warrior pushing through the challenge. He told me this week he has never had a helper before, so I am grateful that I am able to support him when he needs help. It has been hard for him allowing me to do things he would normally do, but it has been necessary.

Sometimes we need to surrender to what is and in relationships switch roles at times to be there for other people.

And while working through this fear of loss I came across a beautiful message that the author and speaker Scott Stabile shared on Facebook this week. It was from one of his followers called Tanya, who answered his request for messages that reflected what they appreciate in themselves.

And I wanted to share this with you, for anyone on a particularly painful journey right now, be it physical or through the grief of loss.

Moving Through Grief and Loss

Hi Scott!

The year 2016 is one I will never forget. Not because it was filled with beautiful memories and magical moments, but rather, because it was the year that I suffered so many losses that it felt as if I had lost everything.

I lost my husband of 17 years, my job (after 20 years with the same company), and my home. Four people I loved with all my heart passed away. I had no choice but to move back to the small town where I grew up – a place I swore I would never again call home. I felt as if my entire world had imploded. I felt hopelessly heartbroken. For the life of me, I couldn’t begin to imagine how the path I was on could possibly lead me to a destination where I would ever again feel whole.

I share this with you, because that year set me on a path to rebuild my life. That path helped me to discover that none of the things I had lost had ever truly defined me. I didn’t understand that in 2016. I am certain of it as we approach 2020. The two things I appreciate about myself were both realized during my journey from 2016 to 2020.

The first thing that I appreciate about myself is my new ability to focus on gratitude. It’s easy to focus on deficits, and losses. Focusing on being grateful for what you DO have…well, that takes practice. I wouldn’t say that I have it mastered, but it is a far easier and more consistent practice for me now. The end result has been the stunning realization that I have so much for which I am eternally grateful. In that respect, I have everything I will ever need.

The second thing I appreciate about myself is my determination to help others. After losing everything and moving back to my hometown, I filled my unlimited “free time” with serving others. I spent 6 months trying to fulfill every possible wish of a friend who battled end stage lung cancer. I moved in with a friend of 30 years who had to have 2 back surgeries and had nobody to help with his recovery. I looked for every opportunity to focus on the needs of others. Amazing how serving others directs your attention immediately back to gratitude.

I know you are a busy man, so if you read this far, thank you!! I want you to know that along the way, I have found hope and inspiration in your words, thoughts, and videos. Your willingness to share your vulnerability, light, and love have single-handedly made my world (and OUR world!) a better, brighter place. My reflections of gratitude often include you!

Wishing you so much love and happiness, Scott!!

BIG Love,

P.S. As 2019 draws to a close, I have a new career I could never have envisioned, I have a roof over my head that feels more like home than any place I have ever lived, I have a wonderful new group of friends who are family to me, and the friend who had the 2 back surgeries…is now my husband! Just because you can’t see the path to a new and beautiful life, doesn’t mean that you aren’t on it. My gratitude cup is overflowing each and every day!!

Thanks for listening to another episode of Kelly Martin Speaks

If you have a question or topic you are struggling with and would like me to answer on an upcoming podcast episode, please get in touch. Your name will be confidential. EMAIL me at or message me on Facebook via my page Kelly Martin Speaks.

And don’t forget, if you feel that others are passing you by and ‘The Not Good Enough’ voice is screaming loudly, pop by to find out all about my books, including Book 1 ‘When Everyone Shines but You’

You can also support my channel via my podcast page on my website via Paypal

Until next time…bye for now.

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Kelly Martin
Kelly Martin

Kelly Martin is the author of ‘When Everyone Shines But You’ , a passionate writer and blogger questioning life’s illusions. After what seemed like a decade of intense anxiety, feelings of failure and grief from the loss of her father she chose to take a mindfulness path and has not looked back since. Kelly encourages people to find the treasures that lie within the pain and suffering and to learn to see themselves as ‘enough’ exactly as they are, right now through her writing and You Tube channel .

Find me on: Web | Facebook

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