Transcend Pain and Suffering through an Attitude of Gratitude

By: Loolwa Khazzoom, Founder, Dancing with Pain

November 28th, 2008 • Patient AdvocacyPrint Print

In my journey living with and healing from chronic pain, I have learned to transcend pain and suffering through attitude of gratitude.  Even in my lowest moments, I have been able to find something for which I have been grateful.

There have been days when my pain and suffering have been so bad that I’ve been positive I couldn’t think of even five things for which to be grateful.  On those days specifically, I have made myself write a list of 50 things that I appreciate about my life. The practice has consistently pulled me out of my misery and made me feel like an incredibly lucky person.

In this spirit, and in honor of Thanksgiving, here are my thanks for the little and big blessings during this life-and-death crisis for my mom:

I am grateful that…

  1. my mom’s accident happened in front of someone instead of when she was alone
  2. the person who saw the accident called an ambulance
  3. my mom was taken to the best trauma hospital in the area
  4. the doctors and nurses were intelligent, competent, and compassionate
  5. my mom thought ahead of time to enter my number as an emergency contact on her cell phone
  6. my mom had her cell phone on her at the time of the accident
  7. someone thought to check my mom’s cell phone to find someone to call
  8. I checked the voicemail on my cell phone, which I rarely do, on the night of the accident — leading me to find out about what happened just four hours after the incident
  9. my mom was conscious enough on the night of the accident that I could speak with her for one coherent conversation — which, for all I knew at the time, may have been the last coherent conversation I’d have with her.
  10. the night nurse and doctor taking care of my mom were kind and compassionate, patiently answering all my questions
  11. I live just an hour plane ride away from my mom
  12. there was an available seat on the first flight out after I received word about the accident
  13. my pain levels were low enough that I could travel to the hospital
  14. I made it safely to the airport, even though I did not sleep all night
  15. long-term parking at the airport was only $10/night
  16. I make enough money to pay for all of the transportation, accommodation, food, and other crisis management expenses that have come up during the past two weeks
  17. I had the presence of mind to take a cab to the hospital from the airport, instead of renting a car
  18. I made it to my mom’s side somewhere between 1/2 hour to 45 minutes before her brain surgery
  19. over the past decade plus, I have learned a tremendous amount about healing, so I was positioned to know how to help my mom above and beyond the conventional medical care she was receiving
  20. I had the strength and rootedness to stand by my mother’s side, despite all of the blood and screams, and offer her healing energy that calmed and soothed her
  21. the doctors and nurses let me follow my mom down all the way to the hallway in front of the surgery room — singing, chanting, saying positive affirmations, and doing guided imagery
  22. over the past two weeks, I have witnessed the profound impact that my healing energy work has had on my mom — thus validating and encouraging my own healing path
  23. through participating in my mother’s fight for her life, I have had the honor and privilege to witness many layers of the body, spirit, and mind — learning more about how each contribute to what we call life
  24. I was by my mother’s side when she woke up
  25. through this experience, I honed my assertiveness and negotiation skills in working with doctors
  26. my mother and I were recipients of an outpouring of love, support, and prayer — leading me to understand that even when I feel isolated, people are there for me if and when I reach out
  27. random strangers prayed for and sent healing energy to my mother — among them the taxi driver who took me to the airport, the waitress at the restaurant across the street from the hospital, the concierge at the hotel where I stayed for the first two nights, and people around the world who responded to my posting on listservs. Through these prayers, the universe received calls about my mother in English, Hebrew, Spanish, and Arabic, through the filter of Jews, Muslims, Christians, Buddhists, spiritualists, and secular people.
  28. I learned about different dimensions of friends and family in my life, by seeing how people did and did not come through in this crisis
  29. I became better acquainted with the depth of my own strength and resilience in crisis
  30. I have more compassion than ever for those who are sick, injured, and in pain


abi November 29th, 2008

I am so grateful to read your blog and learn of your path. May you and your mother be completely healed: body, mind and soul.

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