What we resist, persists.
What we focus on, grows.
Now that I’ve been seeing a shrink, I have started thinking a lot about my relationship with pain. I have to admit, it felt strange at first. A relationship with pain? Isn’t it just what is? Do I honestly have any control over pain?
The answer surprisingly came to me in an “aha” moment when I thought about the above two statements in relation to how I feel about pain. Honestly, I hate it. I mean, who doesn’t? It’s pain for God sakes! Beyond that, I am angry about it. I fight it. I rail against it. I push through it. I show it who’s boss (or so I tell myself).
But….by being constantly focused on how much I hate pain, how much I have lost, how much I feel limited, could I be contributing the consistent persistence of the pain? Even contributing to the intensity? Are my thought patterns and feelings about pain making things worse?
Don’t get me wrong, I realize that I can’t “think happy thoughts” to a cure (working on acceptance…more on that soon) but what if I can reduce my pain by improving my relationship with it? What if I can improve my quality of life by…embracing…pain? Is such a thing possible?
There’s really only one way to find out. Change the thinking game and see what happens. So I am trying to see my pain as my friend. My constant companion. My partner in crime.
Pain in a very important guidepost in life right now. It plays a very pertinent and crucial role in telling me when I am starting to hit my limit. If I listen to it and respect it, it can be a powerful tool and friend to help me ensure more good days than bad. On the other hand, when I give it the finger and tell it to pound sand, it generally smacks me upside the head and knocks me on my ass with bad day after bad day.
Just like my BFFs, my pain doesn’t pull any punches. It’s raw honesty. It doesn’t play games or manipulations. It speaks the truth, and it always give me the oppportunity to have my say. Sometimes it will compromise. Other times, it will draw a line in the sand but, as I am starting to learn, never for some arbitrary reason.
I am learning to trust it. I am learning to appreciate the role it’s playing in my life right now. I am learning to think about it differently so we can thrive as best as we can in this body. I am learning to even love and embrace it because damn it, it’s part of me right now, and I am committed to loving all of me (now more than ever before). I am learning to walk hand-in-hand with it…trusting it, knowing it’s here for a reason.
And frankly, hating something that is with me every. single. day is exhausting.
I won’t say that every day I walk the BFF pain train because some days I still do want to punch it in the face multiple times…and some days I let myself wallow in anger or sadness over it. Some days are just too tough not to. But now, more days than not, I wake up and say hello to my good friend pain, who is always especially present in the mornings. We have a frank conversation about what’s on tap for the day and the week to come…and we negotiate…we talk it out just like good friends ought to.
Today’s Meditation (it was lovely):