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Thank God for pain!

Three weeks ago, I was unfortunate enough to suffer a tooth abscess. Ordinarily this would have been uncomfortable for a day or two until the antibiotics kicked in and then it would have gone away. The dentist would deal with anything untoward, problem solved.

However, unfortunately for me, this was the fifth abscess in under 12 months and a build up of infection literally knocked me off my feet for three weeks. I was poorly beyond belief.

Three weeks is a long time to be feeling very poorly indeed, and I did, at times, get a bit down. One thing above all else kept me going, and that was that everything comes to an end at some point. It might not have been as soon as I’d liked, but it still came to an end.

On the first day in nearly 8 days, I felt well enough to venture outside, even if it was just to our local shop. I went through my habitual ‘dressing for the outside’ ritual, putting on my coat and scarf but as I slid a foot into my shoe, I was suddenly so acutely aware of how good it actually felt to wear a proper shoe rather than slippers. An outside shoe meant fresh air, freedom and good health at that moment in time. Prior to this, putting on an outside shoe meant absolutely nothing to me. I had become as guilty as many other people in getting caught up with the unimportant things, and in doing so I had become blinkered to the simple things that mean so much.

Antony Robbins once said that all problems are relative. One might get upset at putting a dent in their car. They may hold that upset for quite a time until they get made redundant from work maybe. The dent in the car then suddenly becomes irrelevant because there is a much bigger, more pressing problem to overcome. This may consume them until a bigger problem comes along, like the ailing health of a close relative. Lack of work then falls down the list of important things to worry about.

These fundamental things are always there though aren’t they? They don’t disappear from our lives, we just stop noticing them until they are under threat of being taken from us against our will.

The thing is, that we have a choice about what we take notice of. We can choose to notice everything that is not right in our lives or we can focus on all of the important, fundamental things that we already have. Things that, if they were suddenly not there anymore, we would miss like crazy.

Richard Branson has created many businesses from having bad experiences because he knows that he could do better. Until he had those bad experiences, I’m pretty sure that the businesses he later created were not even a fleeting thought. ┬áSomething good always comes out of something bad, even if we don’t realise it at the time. It is there, if only you choose to see it.

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