Monday’s Meditation: On Pain & Healing

May 6, 2013

For the past week and a half, I’ve been dealing with a stress fracture in my thigh/hip region, and it has been nothing short of excruciating–which, coming from someone with an impressively high pain threshold, is saying something. It’s meant that I’ve spent hours in doctors offices, gotten X-rays, iced and medicated and repeated. It’s inhibited my ability to function normally, to be as helpful as I can with clients, to grocery shop, to take a shower. It’s impacted every facet of my life and well-being.

There are times when we believe ourselves to be acting with a higher consciousness, times when we are spiritually minded and when we thus transcend our mortal state. And there are other times when we know, we just know, we’re being that sucky mortal. You know? Man have I been behaving like the sucky mortal. I’ve been subsumed in my pain, talking of it constantly, thinking of nothing but it, crying (crying!) big heaving tears over it. It hurts, after all.

But then again, we (I) know better.

We know that if we continue to fix our attention on that pain, we will continue to perpetuate it. It’s sort of like how ignoring can sometimes be the best method for misbehaving children? They act up to get attention, and if you give it to them they will do it again. And again. It can take everything in those moments to refuse to give over our attention to that behavior, to say only “No thank you.” But if you manage to? They will inevitably desist upon discovering that their outburst failed to tempt your focus.

Fire will not be quenched by adding wood. Pain will not be dissolved by ruminating on the hurt.  The way to obliterate pain is to shift our focus to love, happiness, and gratitude.

Admittedly, I have been phenomenally sucky at executing that mental shift this past week. I hereby pledge to do better.

Rather than thinking “God, my leg hurts like a mofo,” I will think instead, “How lucky I am that every other part of my body is in perfect working order. How good the rest of me feels.”

Rather than thinking, “I feel so badly now,” I will think, “I am grateful that I usually feel so well.”

Rather than telling others, “I am in pain,” I will instead say, “I am in the process of healing.”

Rather than thinking of all the things I am unable to do, I will instead remind myself of all the things I can do well.

Rather than berating my leg for being uncooperative, I will realize that in its pain is the request for more love than I have been giving it.

I love my body.

I marvel at its perfection.

I give it permission to conduct its most basic function– to heal itself.

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