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July 22, 2022

The Toothache

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I’m sure you’ve experienced a time when you’ve been in chronic pain. It’s uncomfortable, limiting, and exhausting. It puts a heaviness on top of everything, making everything harder to do because of the physical and emotional energy it takes to get yourself moving.

Something that is less physically debilitating is a toothache. But if you’ve ever had one, you know how consuming it is. It takes up your entire existence because you cannot ignore it or act like it’s not there. 

When you have a toothache the only thing on your mind is "Man, I wish I didn’t have a toothache! Things would be so good if only I didn’t have a toothache.” The crazy part is, all of the time you spent in your life without a toothache, you never thought twice about it. You didn’t even notice it. But now that you no longer have a pain-free mouth, it’s what you want most, and you realize how much you took it for granted.

The toothache is a metaphor for many things in life. What blessings do we pass by every day that we’ve grown accustomed to just being part of our lives? Running water, a garbage person who comes and hauls your trash away, your ability to walk, speak, and think. Your ability to call a parent, kiss your partner goodnight, drive to get groceries. Like a toothache takes away a painless mouth, imagine if any of what I just mentioned was taken away from you. Your quality of life would be different and you’d be envious of how good you had it.

That is how good we have it right now! We’re living in these privileges and blessings. It’s incredible, but we don’t think about it. But the toothache reminds us that things can change quickly, and we should be better at appreciating what we have before it’s gone.

Do you want to live blindly and passively, unaware of the good fortune you live with? Or would you prefer to exist in a state of gratitude and appreciation for the quality of life you have? To make that tangible for you today, take a moment to reflect on this - What have I taken for granted my entire life, and how can I acknowledge it right now?

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