“Healing may not be so much about getting better, as about letting go of everything that isn’t you – all of the expectations, all of the beliefs – and becoming who you are.”
– Rachel Naomi Remen
Pain is something we will all experience sometime in our lives. It is our body’s way of telling us that something is wrong. Something that we tend to miss is the message. We treat the pain, react to it, but we don’t really listen to it. We mistreat it in our daily lives and expect our bodies to just take it. We ask it to keep going on poor nutrition, little sleep and high levels of stress. Once it has taken all it can, it tells us through the only way it knows how- pain and discomfort. It is screaming and shouting. At that point, we get resentful. We can’t sleep, we can’t take the pain of sore muscles, the nerve pain, etc. We get frustrated with our bodies and start taking medications to help us manage this new stress. Although this isn’t a consistent path for everyone, for the most part, we try to find a way to shut our body up and keep going.
Imagine if we actually just asked our bodies what was wrong and looked at the signs of when the pain began, where the pain is and what else is integrated. Is your sore shoulder telling you that it hates being at a desk all day? Is your pulled muscle in your leg telling you that it isn’t meant to be standing for a 10 hour shift with terrible footwear?
When my back injury occurred, I was too busy and focused to even notice. If you asked me the day the injury occurred or circumstances, I wouldn’t be able to tell you. I always find that such a sad fact. I was so consumed with work and impressing those around me that I didn’t even notice the moment I permanently changed my life. What is worse? I ignored the pain for 6 months before I went to a doctor. I completely chose to ignore this. I couldn’t be bothered. I had things to do. The messages I missed was not only that I wasn’t taking care of my body, but I wasn’t living life in line with what I am here for and with who I really am. I doing what was expected of me and not even considering what I wanted. It wasn’t until I owned this and started to follow my true path that any healing even began. It didn’t matter what I did at the physical level, my injury continued to scream at me until I realized what it was telling me- I needed a new direction in life. My body would no longer tolerate my abuse and I am so grateful for that.
What is your body telling you? I challenge you to sit in silence for a few minutes and focus on those areas where you have aches and pains. What comes to mind? What thoughts or emotions begin to surface? We have stored so much stress and negativity in our bodies and pushed it all down without understanding or recognizing the impact… don’t you owe it to yourself to start listening?