What are we getting better for? What are we here for? I realize these are big questions and challenging even for minds that aren't screaming with pain, let alone those that cope with frequent Migraines. They are central questions to creating and sustaining the will and optimism to keep pushing through the pain and discouragement that comes with a life with chronic illness. Searching for the larger, deeper meanings, a connection to humankind, the world, the divine, is an important part of the human experience. There comes a time in our lives when most of us wonder what we are here for, what our mission is, what we are uniquely put on this earth to do. Be it spiritual, altruistic, political, creative, there is something that sustains us, that pulls us forward.

There is more to life than ending the suffering. It is easy to lose sight of this when we struggle with pain. Ending the suffering becomes important enough that we forget there is more to it. I don't believe pain makes you a better person. "No pain no gain" is a worthless philosophy. It's true that people can achieve great personal growth out of learning experiences based in pain. They can also become embittered, limited and frightened by pain. People can also achieve great personal growth without pain. There are no guarantees, no formulas. My experience is that when we are living inside a known, expressed purpose or goal, it gives a larger context to our experiences that makes it worth moving forward, worth seeking out the learning, worth looking beyond the pain.

What is your big goal, that makes your life worthwhile today? As a coach, I help people determine their goals for their lives - what possibilities they will create for themselves and the world, what they value most that they want to promote. Of course if we are ill we want to feel better, but feel better for what? Feel better so I can be a person who can squeeze every moment of enjoyment out of life, and give it to everyone around me? That's worth feeling better for! You get there at least in part, and as much as possible, by living that way today. I wrote a few weeks ago in the Free my Brain blog about having fun, because your life is NOW, not someday when you're all better. If your goal is to have a family full of love, have it NOW, today. If you want to be creative, be creative now.

Building lives in Balance - Creating Wellness, Joy and Abundance My goal in life is to build lives in balance - creating wellness, joy and abundance. That means for me, my family, my friends, my clients. It means that's how I approach my politics, my community, my world. It means that's how I make choices about my day. When I spend the whole weekend with Migraines, as I did this past weekend, I need to think about what a life in balance looks like in that context. This time it looked like staying in bed when I felt like I should be up and helping, taking medication when I didn't want to, accepting that two beautiful October days were going by with me inside, inviting my children and my husband to spend time with me in my bedroom, one by one, since I couldn't deal with them in a noisy group in the noisy downstairs. I'm glad my pain is mostly gone today. But even gladder that I can be more active in pursuing my goal today.

Think about what you're here for. Your unique contribution, your humor, your helpfulness, your intelligence, your skills, your drive, your compassion, your good cooking, your knowledge, your music, your strength. Take care of yourself, your nervous system, your body and soul, so the world can have that, the gift you are. Do what it takes to be well inside of that. Get better for that.

Author's Bio: 

Megan Oltman is a migraineur, an entrepreneur, and a Migraine Management Coach, helping migraineurs and people with chronic illness manage their lives, keep working, start and maintain businesses, and live purposeful lives. She also practices as a professional divorce mediator. Over the years, she's been a practicing attorney, a free-lance writer, and a business coach and advisor. Megan has a free Migraine management course, The Six Keys to Manage your Migraines and Take Back your Life, available at www.takebackyourlifefrommigraine.com. Her writings on Migraine and more tools for managing life with Migraine can be found at http://www.freemybrain.com