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It’s “Take a Loved One to the Doctor” season at the “TJMS,” and we all have ailments of a certain kind that need to be addressed – physical and beyond. Have you ever been in physical pain so bad that you could barely move? The movements and tasks you normally performed became gargantuan projects; you had no choice but to slow down. Did the pain become so nagging that you had to get help, didn’t care who did it or how – just knew you needed to be fixed up, and I mean right now?

When you went to the doctor, hospital or, in my case, the chiropractor, did you find out that your pain was not the problem, but the result of something that happened? Did you find out that because you walked around with that pain for some time, it would take that equivalent amount of time to resume your normal activities?

That is what happened to me once. Somehow, by making the wrong move, I managed to sprain my back rib. Oh, the pain was unbelievable. When I finally went to the chiropractor, she adjusted my back in two places, but the place where my back hurt the most – in the middle – she could not adjust. She tried twice, but said my back was not ready; it would not cooperate. I asked her when I would be able to resume my exercise regime. Her response was that since I had not handled my pain when it first occurred, it would take my body longer to heal.

So it is when we’ve been hurt emotionally, too. Because we either do not realize or we’re not ready to deal with what happened to us, we keep on moving in life – staying busy, refusing to talk about it, and refusing to feel it.

However, the symptoms of your pain have a way of getting your attention. It may manifest itself as indifference, bitterness, anger, sadness, depression, eating, drinking or in other ways. The longer your pain goes on unaddressed, the louder your symptoms become. They will start altering your life; you’ll gain or lose weight, mishandle your work, family and relationships. You’ll become overly dependent on substances to numb your pain. We all have areas of deep pain, but how you cope with the pain will either make you or break you.

Just like when a child learns that the stove is hot when they get burned, our pain can be used to teach us lessons or, for that matter, propel us to our legacy. My mentor, Terri McFaddin, spoke once about how pain can work for our good. For instance, if you grew up poor, the pain, struggle and displeasure of it may motivate you to work hard and become successful because you never want to be poor again.

The point here is do not be afraid to look at and deal with your pain. It can teach you something significant about yourself. Also, it is healthier for you to deal with your pain than have your pain, by force, deal with you in a destructive way, or before it’s too late.

If you’re one of those people who’s lived with your pain for a long time, know that once you start your healing process, it may take you a long time to heal. Please do not get discouraged, and don’t give up. You know what they say: No pain, no gain.

Finally, my friend, if you’ve already been healed or you’re in the process of healing,don’t let your pain be in vain. What you’ve been through, someone else is going through. Your willingness to tell the truth and share your story could save someone’s life. What’s the use of sitting back and watching your brother or sister in pain? Use your pain for the good. Push someone else forward. Believe me,that alone can help you release the pain.

Deya “Direct” Smith is a producer on “The Tom Joyner Morning Show” and host of Girlfriend FM and Beyond the Studio celebrity interviews on She is also a motivational speaker, actress and social commentator. She can be reached at