Our attitude towards our pain is everything. HOW we are with our pain is the key to living well with it…….
Thats my take on it anyways. Having lived with various degrees, intensities, types, stages and cycles of pain since I was a small child, one thing I have learnt that doesn’t work is fighting it.
An attitude of fighting pain, beating pain, winning against pain only makes pain it worse. This does not mean we don’t work hard with pain, this does not mean we let pain beat us into submission and become a victim to it.
It does mean that the WAY we work with our pain depends totally on what is needed in each moment. NOT on what we think our attitude should be towards pain.
If we think that we should always be fighting our pain, should never give up, can never let our guard down, must work harder and harder and keep trying more and more, eventually we just exhaust ourselves. We are literally fighting a losing battle.
We need to bring both a gentle kindness and a fierce courage and strength to our pain. We discern what is needed in each moment. We apply what is needed to the situation we are in. We don’t use a preconcieved attitude someone else has told us about, or what we think is right and good for the situation. We look at things as they are and apply what is needed.
Deep inside each and everyone one us we know what is needed in each situation. We know when we are indulging ourselves and lying down and rolling over, or when what is actually needed is to get up, get off our bum and do the very thing that will help ourselves. We don’t lie there like a vicitim, wanting mummy to feed us, we get up and help ourselves……in those moments we take responsibility for ourselves. We do what we can for ourselves, we care well for ourselves. That might mean doing little things like, pausing and breathing, stretching and moving a little, eating some good food, saying no to that extra indulgence, bringing discipline to not indulging in things that weaken my energy and I know make my pain worse….
on the flip side …
We allow ourselves to be right where we are. In each moment. If i must rest, and do nothing I must rest and do nothing. I need to be able to allow myself times to just blob out, let go completely and say, feel and experience I have had enough. This is just too much, too hard. I’m too tired. I cant do this anymore. I am really shattered. We need to be able to allow ourselves times where we give up and surrender it all, all that pain, all that suffering. We need to allow ourselves to feel small, and helpless. Simply because when we suffer from so much pain that it becomes too much, that is how we often feel.
Yet don’t stop there.
Magic happens when we let ourselves be true to where we are in any given moment. Where we don’t have a preconceived idea of what we “should” or “shouldn’t be doing. Where we take action from what is arising now, what is right here in front of me, where we listen and are open to what is the required response now….
Living with pain is not only tough, often it feels unbearable and overwhelming. Having the attitude of fighting off the pain only creates more resistance. In the fighting we harden. Yet if we are more like water, softer, malleable, flowing, with our pain. The effect of that softer malleable, flowing, attitude towards our pain is cooling rather than making our pain hotter, more intense, more fiery. We have enough of that heat already.
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