I don’t like pain.
Not one bit.
And I’m a wuss. And I’m talking major pain.
I mean, I’ve had neck and back pain before.
This is a completely different order of magnitude. This is scary.
My first inclination is to fight.
Fight the pain, fight the crying, fight the body, fight my reflexes and my emotions.
I long to pull out the big guns and make the bastards cooperate.
As if you can order anything to cooperate. Really, think about it, when you order and get the response you expect, what might look like cooperation is often the opposite. It is grudging obedience, the kind of obedience that seeks revenge, just waiting for you to turn your head to give you the finger or pull the rug from under you.
If you parent a toddler (or a teenager) you know what I’m talking about.
Inner wise woman to the rescue: with our not-secret not-weapons:
Inquiry + Trust + Playfulness. Yes, playfulness is possible even from inside the pain.
No I’m not talking card games.
It’s about hide-and seek, and twenty questions (make that a hundred and then some), and Marko Polo.
I have done a great deal of work recovering from depression and anxiety. It’s time to apply what I learned about healing my heart to healing my body.
My inner wise woman reminds me that just like you cannot command respect and cooperation, telling muscles to relax, or telling the heart and soul to heal, is just like telling a toddler to sit still: not outside the realm of possibility, but utterly impossible to tell when the heck it’s going to happen.
Sure, we better not hold our breath, but it might be useful to notice when these miracles do happen, observe and take notes, so we stand a chance to recreate these instances of peace and healing.
So I am gently putting down the weapons and picking up the magnifying glass, the Book of Me (thank you Havi! for is particular concept, as well as the huge amount of healing you bring to the world), and my inner goggles.
While I love being a warrior mom (just check out the sidebar), I’ve learned that it is only when we lay down our weapons we can pick up the shield (thank you Katherine for this powerful image and for your tireless work). With shields and love we can become students and scientists: learning, experimenting, dancing from hope and trust to fear and back again.
And just like with healing from postpartum depression, I am going to get all the help I can get. Doctors will prescribe medications (thank goodness for painkillers), I will see therapists, my insurance will cover some of it, but it will still cost me. I will pay with money and time and attention. My family will have to support me through this, and it will not be easy on them, especially not on DH (there will be guilt about this. and I am going to do my best to harvest this guilt).
But we will focus our attention on the important things. On love, and laughter. Laughter is harder for me when I’m in pain, but I vow to cling to my sense of humor. (Kimberly is my inspiration for this bit. Thank you kim for making me almost pee my pants while tugging my heartstrings like nobody’s business).
I’m a do-er, and this healing will require rest. So I know that as my healing begins and then progresses, I will become impatient. I will grudge my body. Of course I will.
I will envy others for their progress and discount mine.
I will compare, despair, and make baby steps.
Sometimes one steps forward and lots of steps back.
I will cry and I’ll definitely curse, only I will allow myself to give up the fight. Just the fight. My depression didn’t heal while my heart was a war-zone, so I’m declaring peace with the neck, with my spine, and with my body. I am trusting Permission-Based Healing do its magic with my body, not just my heart.
I am no longer fighting the pain in the neck.
From now on, I am listening.
Dear neck and body of mine, tell me what you need, and I will heed your call.
Even when I heed you impatiently, and imperfectly, I do it with love.
There will be setbacks. And tears. And trust. And fear.
Please work with me. Let’s play.
And, in the spirit of peace with the body, it’s time I move away from the computer. Much love.