Pain Buster

Pain Buster

While recovering from pneumonia last month, I had a lot of down time, so I used the “opportunity” for some deep pondering in hopes of finding some hidden belief that, if revealed and finally heard, could reduce the pain. BTW, pneumonia hurts! You don’t want to get it. I promise.

I found one. It showed up as an indignant cry from my childhood that “Life should not hurt!” Interestingly enough, that was during the week we were covering “shoulds” in Language of Listening for YOU, the personal growth class Eva and I were leading. I missed the class that week, but had a powerful session at home on my own.

I checked my thoughts for childhood associations with that phrase, “Life should not hurt,” and spankings came up. That was back in the days before SAY WHAT YOU SEE, CAN DOs and STRENGHs. It’s just what parents did. But from my childhood perspective, spankings were simply not fair! (Now I know they are just a bad idea all around.)

So there it was. My relationship with pain was that pain wasn’t fair.

No wonder getting hurt always made me so mad! Anger is the perfect and natural response to “not fair!” Even little hurts like a child inadvertently stepping on my toe would result in an instant automatic angry reaction. There never seemed to be anything I could do about it other than clench my teeth and try not to lash out. I thought I was just wired that way.

But the second I realized I was reacting to fairness not pain, it shifted. I suddenly got present to the truth of pain:

Pain simply an important and valuable physical reaction that I happen to hate. Hating it is different than judging it as wrong or unfair. It’s simply a strong preference that propels me to do whatever it takes to stay safe and healthy. Imagine that. Pain is perfect as it is!

As you can imagine I said what I saw to myself many times after that when the pain came up as in, “Cough-Ouch! You hate that! Yes, I do! I wish it would stop. You really do!” which helped me stay in bed and rest way more than I wanted to and led to a quicker recovery than resistance would have.

Breakthroughs as pain busters! It’s more than a good idea.

What’s your relationship to pain? Any insights or stuck points you’d like to share?

1 Comment

  1. I love this Sandy!

    I never made the distinction between “just hating” something and judging it as unfair.

    One of my new perspectives on pain (like stubbing my toe or carelessly scraping my hand) is “Thank You for reminding me to be careful with my body.” It makes it a message of self-love instead of frustration and shame at my “clumsiness”.

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