Monday, July 07, 2008

Something Tiny Can Cause Much Pain

I've had a microscopically small blackberry thorn embedded in my thumb for a week now. I'm an avid gardener and I hate wearing gloves. I can't 'feel' the weeds when I wear gloves. I feel encumbered and clumsy. So, I garden with my hands, 'in the buff' so to speak. With that practice, come some penalties. My fingernails generally look pretty grim during gardening season. Sometimes my hands just will not come completely clean. I'm willing to live with those consequences for the sake of gardening in a way that feels best to me.

This blackberry thorn is a different story. I felt the thorn go in. I was attempting to extract a young blackberry vine. Often when I grab the very base of the roots, just below the surface of the ground, I can be successful without injury. This particular vine, however, had some very small barbs on it and one of them embedded itself deeply into my thumb.

I couldn't even see the dang thing for 2 days it was so deep in my thumb. The amazing thing to me is that it hurts SO MUCH! Even when I couldn't see it, this little tiny irritant caused me jolts of pain! After a few days, I could see it, but I still couldn't get a hold of it with my tweezers. Pain, pain, pain. Every time I put pressure on my thumb directly, I get a powerful jolt of pain.

I've tried to dig the thing out on 3 different occasions. It's just not accessible. My understanding is that the area will callus up a bit, and push the thorn to the surface. I'm waiting patiently. OK... not so patiently.

My main point for writing about this is the fact that something so tiny, in comparison to my overall body size, can cause so much discomfort and pain. The point is... it's not supposed to be there. It's an 'alien body.' That's why it is causing pain.

So often in our lives we include things that just shouldn't be there. A habit, a relationship, a behavior, a choice... and something very small can become something very uncomfortable and even painful.

It's important to look for these things and eliminate them from our lives. Sometimes, just like my thorn, the extraction cannot happen immediately. For a myriad of reasons, it might take some time to 'work the thing' out of our lives. The important thing is to recognize when something is causing us pain... and do what is ours to do to eliminate it from our life.

Got any thorns embedded in your life? I wish you much success in identifying and eliminating the thorns from your metaphorical thumbs! :)

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