This Pain is Not the Master of Me


This weekend, an old back injury resurfaced, and I spent a considerable amount of time lying flat on my back.  It reminded me of the 8 months I had spent largely in that position after a semi-truck smashed into my compact car as I was traveling 70 miles/hour on the interstate a couple of years ago.   Like most people, I’m not very good at being injured.  I don’t like being a burden to others, and I found myself this weekend becoming frustrated quite easily.  I’m sure I was not very pleasant company to anyone, and although I resisted feeling frustration and pain, my resistance seemed to increase rather than abate my experience of suffering. And, the more I suffered, the more I filled the room with negative energy.

At some point in a peak of frustration, I just sunk into it and allowed it to be without resisting it.   When the arc of frustration passed, I had a conversation with my back.  When I really just allowed my body to speak without  trying to silence it in vain, it told me exactly what  it needed.  I sought help in the form of a medical massage for soft tissue dysfunction, and now I am well on my way to feeling much recovered.  The injury was pretty minor, but because it had brought up previous trauma, my mind had been totally engaged in resisting past circumstances which were no longer here in the present.  My suffering was more fear than pain, and until I was able to short-circuit the fear by Mindfulness, it was not only my tyrant, but a tyrant to my loved ones who were caring for me in my bad mood.

Had I participated in non-preference, it would not have frustrated me so much to allow loved ones to assist me in doing what I could not do for myself.  Had I participated in just allowing, I would not have increased the suffering by resisting it, but cared for it by having compassion for it. And, had I remembered that “The Past is Not There,” I would have cut short fear before it really began to take hold.  In all these cases, I would have been kinder to myself and my loved ones.

This humbling experience was a fine opportunity to learn something.

Thought for the day: I Care for My Pain, but It is Not the Master of Me.

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19 Comments

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19 responses to “This Pain is Not the Master of Me

  1. Fear has a way of undermining our best intentions, doesn’t it? I’m glad you are mending in body/mind/spirit. Every experience teaches us something about ourselves.

  2. Oh Angela – I am sending out healing energy to you today. Of course this post resonates so much for me. I continue to struggle as my physical condition is chronic and I know I have to release resistance and be mindful that I am more than my physical pain. My blogging effort is part of this work. You have really helped me today by reminding me of this important way of approaching pain. So grateful! Wellness to you always, RL

    • Dear Robyn, I have been thinking about you, too, and sending you Reiki every few days. I actually was thinking about you as I was writing this post–knowing a little of all you have gone through. Your blog is truly your high self shining to all, and the beauty you share in it redemptive and healing. I’m very grateful to you, too. Light and love, A

  3. A wise, honest & insightful post. The fear of being a burden is so common when we are injured & so not helpful! I am sorry for your pain, but think it is wonderful how you have used the opportunity to learn such lessons.
    …sending you metta, of course xx

  4. Thank you…yes fear is so often the culprit when it come to physical or emotional pain…it’s great that your awareness helped you separate the haunting past…:)

  5. I am sending you big hugs and healing vibes too Angela. Pain is such a hard thing to tolerate – and it sometimes overrides our best intentions. The same as sickness can. But you have been able to see it clearly, and rather than fight it, accept it. Hope you are back to 100% soon ♥

    • Thank you, my dear Meg. You are so right!! I really appreciate the healing vibes, too, which I’m sure will help. Reiki has taught me in the most palpable way that energy is boundless, knows no limits, and follows intention, so I am grateful for your healing thoughts!! Lots of love to you and your little man!

  6. Oh my dear Zen! I was thinking of you this whole weekend and wondering if you were alright. Isn’t it funny that we can sometimes connect with someone a million miles away! I wish I could bring you my super duper healing butternut soup made with love and tell you stories to make you laugh and chase all the fears away. I’m so glad to hear you are feeling better now. Isn’t it true that it’s the hard times that gives us the grace to become better, wiser, more pure in heart, cleansed? Hugs to a cherished one, Shaz

    • Awww, Shaz, your words seriously brought tears of joy to my eyes! They were the first things I saw this morning as I was drinking my morning coffee, and they have made my day. You are such a dear woman, and I wish I could give you a huge hug right now!! It’s so true that connection knows no limitations and defies space and time. This may sound strange, but I feel you like a sister. Hugs hugs hugs and so much love to you!!

  7. Hi, Angela! ~

    Looks like we have a lot in common — I’m glad you found me so I could find you!

    I have also been learning from my back pain lately http://www.dangerouslinda.com/?p=1925

    I love this: “I Care for My Pain, but It is Not the Master of Me.”

    Although, one thing I’ve learned is that the subconscious mind is oblivious to the word ‘not’, so it would understand the above statement as:
    “I Care for My Pain, but it is the Master of Me.”

    Thus, an even more powerful way to phrase it might be: “I Care for My Pain and I Remain the Master of My Life” or something like that.

    If you are interested in more info on this subject please check out the book White Bears and Other Unwanted Thoughts by Daniel M. Wegner http://www.amazon.com/White-Bears-Other-Unwanted-Thoughts/dp/0898622239

    I’m excited to take a look around and see what you’ve got going on here!

    Thank you for all that you are!

    • Wow–thanks so much for sharing your suggestion for a much more positive affirmation!! It feels better, and I’m grateful to have learned something new. I will def. check out Mr. Wegner’s book (fascinating title) and your post. Sounds like we really do have a lot in common!! Thanks so much for reading and providing such thoughtful commentary. Glad we found each other!

  8. Our magical bodies certainly are our teachers. We just have to listen 🙂

  9. Excellent. This is the same mantra that I use. 🙂

  10. Here’s a great article that I’m sure you will find very useful. I know it’s more than just a paragraph or two, but if you will persevere you will, I hope, it was well worth taking the time.

    http://www.alternet.org/story/155547/why_we_have_emotions_%28and_why_we_should_not_fight_them
    %29

    • What an excellent article!! Thank you for sharing it. I’ll be digesting its wisdom for some time. Getting to those primary emotions and allowing them to be, process, and transform – I really liked her message. Thanks for thinking of me! I’ll pass this on to a few friends whom I think would really benefit from it.

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