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Today’s practice, canker sores

July 10, 2010

I know, I know it sounds a bit odd so let me explain.

Today I was dealing with the pain and irritation of a canker sore on the tip of my tongue. No matter what I did, I was reminded of the pain.

When I spoke, and the sore hit the air, a reminder…

When I ate something, it irritated the canker, a reminder…

It got me to thinking, and this may sound silly, but today I used that damn canker sore as a reminder of how selfish I am at times. Each time I felt it, and the irritation was prevalent, rather than cursing it, I was reminded of how infantile I was being.

This small bit of suffering is nothing in the grand scheme of things. There are children with hungry bellies, there are woman who are still not allowed to vote, there are kids being recruited into armies and are being forced to kill their own family afterward.

My stupid little canker sore was nothing,  just a pain in the ass really. My minor amount of pain was nothing compared to the Tibetans tortured in Chinese jails, the pain a country feels seeing their democratically elected leader still under an illegal house imprisonment.

My pain was nothing compared to the pain the woman in Iran will feel when she is stoned for doing nothing but being a human being. My pain is nothing compared the innocent victims of child abuse. My pain was nothing compared to those who are living under extreme dictatorships and aren’t allowed to think for themselves.

The list of real suffering in the world today goes on and on…

That stupid canker sore became my teacher today and while I sit here typing this, I am grateful for this canker sore.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. July 11, 2010 5:55 pm

    I’m hoping that I can practice what I’ve preached hear myself, Cathy. It’s something hard to remember, especially when some sorts of pain are so overwhelming. Luckily, a canker sore is just a wee bit bothersome, something to work with easily. Now, if we had a broken arm it may be a different story! :)

    Thank you for your comment and I hope your toothache feels better soon!

  2. Cathy Levine permalink
    July 11, 2010 5:51 pm

    Thank you so much for the lesson on pain. While I know that it is stupid, I have been feeling sorry for myself because I have a toothache. You have reminded me of how lucky I really am.

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