Tag Archives: pain

SelfLove365, Year 2, Day 145: Letting go of fear of PAIN. Acceptance of PAIN.

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Part of my personal motto this year is to FEEL DEEPLY, and that includes the painful stuff, too. I don’t wish to inflict pain upon myself to do this. Well, that’s not entirely true – part of the reason I enjoy getting tattoos is to experiment with how I deal with the physical pain, and to be curious about it. In fact, the last time, I noticed that halfway through the tattoo, the pain turned into pleasure!

However, I do wish to allow myself to feel whatever comes up in the moment. Resisting feelings, as I’ve done in the past, hasn’t worked so well for me; instead of moving through the feeling into something else, I wind up stuck in it. Being stuck, or frozen, leads to fear. Arguably, it’s the fear that leads to the resistance in the first place, but I think more precisely, it’s my reaction to the fear (resisting it) that translates into even more fear. It’s like that saying, “What you resist, persists”. So true. Because I grew up thinking I shouldn’t feel anything (having been told, “Don’t cry”, or “Don’t be upset”), I become afraid of feelings, worried they may take over, that they will become too painful to bear, and that I will never escape. Such is the same with physical pain; when my back is in pain, I have a belief that it will never end.

The more I can build the habit of allowing the feelings to move through me, to see that they don’t last forever, and to know that there is something else to feel on the other side of the pain, then the more I can accept, and let go of, the pain.

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Love and Pain

Is it possible to have love without pain? This is my theme for today’s auction painting, up for auction on my Facebook page, today only. Let me know your thoughts – I would love to hear them.

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My Dance Medicine

Gratitude after a Feel-Bad Week

Remember when you were 15 and constantly looked at yourself in the mirror, inspecting all those pores and looking for imperfections? No? Yeah, me neither.

OK, yeah, I did it. I think it stopped when I stopped searching for a guy to share my life with. The year I had twins, I am pretty sure I stopped looking in the mirror altogether. For some reason, I did it again last week, and I wasn’t impressed. I realized pretty quickly that I had two choices: 1) Keep inspecting and find all my imperfections, then begin to hate myself because of them OR 2) Accept that I have imperfections, but stop looking for them and move on. I chose #2.

Now, don’t go thinking that I have fully accepted everything about physical being, because I certainly have not. It seems like it will take a life-time to completely accept my wrinkled belly, even though I know I should be grateful for how well it served as a home to three babies. I can’t really see myself ever wearing a bikini. And my freakin’ hair is driving me nuts (it’s the growing it out phase of my hair cycle… might quickly become the shave it-all-off-again phase). But I want to be accepting of myself and how I look. I also want to accept how my body works. Or doesn’t.

My back is crooked again. This has been on-again, off-again since Dec. 2008 (my back has a longer history, though, with surgery for scoliosis when I was almost 13), when I found out about my disc problem. I am no longer surprised when it happens, but I still get discouraged. I went to dance last night (as I do every week) because it’s usually my place to release stress and have fun. I knew I wouldn’t be able to move like usual, but I really let it get to me last night, with tears and all, keeping myself apart from the group. I guess I needed that. Once again, I saw it as two choices, just like with the mirror. I decided to move on, and surrender my situation. I was finally able to dance with everyone for the last few songs. As usual, Mike’s facilitation seemed to speak right to me, since he spoke of surrender, and allowing our bodies to move without effort. I so needed those words.

It always surprises me, but I am kind of grateful for my crooked back. Because of it, I have compassion for other people who can’t physically do what they feel they should be able to do. I am more grateful for my good days, when body feels strong. I am grateful for my children for keeping me from dwelling on my suffering.

If only I could be grateful for zits.

On a different note (how else do you segue from zits to music?), I have been listening to DiRTY RADiO non-stop for the last week. Once I hook onto something I like, I obsess and listen to it to death. Proud to say it’s Canadian music! Oh, and he can hit the high notes – why do I always love when guys can hit high notes??  I might have a little crush on him (yes, hubby knows about my crushes, it’s all good). Happy dancing!

 

Unsure Mazes

The Sketchbook Project, p. 29-30.

I’m like one of those lab rats running around a maze, always coming back to the same spot. I’ve been keeping track of my back issues, and I’m on a (about) 2 month cycle of feeling good and treating myself well, and then letting all slide (which mean sitting more than I should). I have that tightness in my lower back again. It always scares me when it starts, and I am very much aware of how I focus on the negative and want it to go away. This doesn’t help at all.

I recently started meditating again (there have been lots of fresh starts for meditating!!) and I can really see the benefit now, especially with the back trouble. My “witness” part of me is easier to spot. The witness doesn’t feel the pain, but rather, notices that I (my body) am feeling pain, and that I (my mind) is stuck in the pain. This awareness lets me deal with it better, and allows me to remember that it won’t last forever.

I just finished reading “Room” by Emma Donoghue – it’s a touching, frightening, wonderful story, told from the point of view of Jack, a 5-year old boy. Jack likes to do “word sandwiches”, where he combines two words to make a new one.  My favourite in the book, one that is appropriate for me right now is “scave”. I am scared and brave at the same time.

Feeling Pain, Feeling Pleasure

The Sketchbook Project p. 12-13.

Today I realized (again, seems it takes awhile to learn) that instead of focusing on my pain, it would be more beneficial to focus on what feels good. What you pay attention to will grow, so it’s time for me to feel the warmth of a heating pack, sense the relaxation of my muscles as I lie down, feel the joy as I hear my son laugh and see my daughters dance around the room. This is a struggle sometimes, as the pain tries to pull me inward and pushes me to focus on it. I don’t want it to be a fight, but rather, a gentle shifting of attention, like sensing my breath instead of listening to my meandering thoughts while I’m meditating. It might be time for another look at Full Catastrophe Living by Jon Kabat-Zinn. That book rocks.