I remember the first time that I ever ate Mexican food. I ate chili stew at Isleta Indian Pueblo in New Mexico. It contained so much red chili, that the broth of the stew was bright red. My nose started running, my eyes watered, and my mouth kept hurting and kept burning, no matter how much cold water I drank. I couldn't imagine how anyone could eat such hot chili. I was almost unaware of the taste, because the pain was so great.

But I spent the next year and a half living in New Mexico. And I'm not sure exactly when, or how, but my body changed and adapted. Or perhaps in part it was my mind that changed. Because, before long, that sensation of the hot chili in my mouth seemed different. Almost as if somehow, my mouth had developed a callous. Somehow my mouth adapted, so there was no longer pain, and I could just enjoy the taste. I had in a sense become callous to the pain, and yet remained pleasantly sensitive to the delicious flavor of the hot tamales or enchiladas or stew.

And you really should be willing to allow the nerves in the painful part of your body, to adapt, and develop callouses, just as I did in order to eat chili and Mexican food.

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