Pain has a way of shrinking things. The experiences of one in pain or chronic illness often get smaller and smaller as we are unable to travel as much or do "regular" things outside of the house. Often our concentration is brought to very little things as thinking too big can be overwhelming. The circle of friends often shrinks as "normal" people don't always have time to slow down for the one who is sick. This is kind of a natural part of being in chronic pain or illness.
But it can be a self-destructive thing as well. Yes, sometimes there is the necessity to slow down and allow our lives to become smaller. This can be good. But if we allow it, this can easily turn into self-focus which if allowed to fester can very easily backfire. If all I do is sit alone and think of my own pain it can actually cause the pain to feel worse.
During the last weeks we have probably all heard and seen of the devastating earthquake that has destroyed so much life in Haiti. This is a perfect opportunity for all of us who deal with physical or emotional pain to look outside of our own suffering and do all that we can to help those who have lost everything. There are endless pleas for financial help - or if that is impossible - prayer is never a small thing. Let's allow this horrible disaster to remind us to think bigger and think of a world that is outside of our experience, yet which needs our compassion and love.