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.