On August 20th I posted about working my way through an injury. As the work continues, I continue to learn about the importance of listening to our pain.
“Your wound is probably not your fault, but your healing is your responsibility.”
~ Denise Frohman Poet, Writer, Performer
I’ve never lived with chronic physical pain before, and I have a newfound empathy and compassion for those who do. Up until this past year, any aches and pains that I have had have been fleeting. This particular pain however has settled in and made itself comfortable.
It was the pain that first alerted me that all was not well when everyday things like walking, sitting, standing, and sleeping that hadn’t been painful to do before, now were. With the good help of my healthcare team we identified the source of the pain, charted my healing course, and paved a road to recovery.
My marching orders are to continue to walk with the pain rather than push through it, and listen to the pain rather than silence it with painkillers. This means that I continue to do a little more each day, taking pains to keep the pain at or below its current level. Push through it, and I risk losing my hard won progress. Silence it with narcotics, and I’m in danger of missing the protective signals that pain faithfully sends my way.
Mine is a marathon, not a sprint. Steady steps result in steady progress, and it is the pain that continues to blaze my trail.
Six months ago I couldn’t walk down our half-mile road much less up a steep hill. Today, I can walk eight miles in a day, and hike up increasingly steep trails. As I stay the course, my healing continues and my strength grows. While not yet free of her, pain has proven to be a faithful companion, and when her work is done, I have faith that she will move on.
When it comes to pain, what is true for my body has proven true for my soul.
When emotional pain settles in and makes itself comfortable, I am learning to see it as an invitation to step onto another kind of road to recovery. Sometimes it has taken the good help of a professional to help me chart my healing course. My inner-pain asks me to walk with it, not push through it, and invites me to listen to it, not silence it with one of my many chosen painkillers.
The path to wholeness is a marathon, not a sprint, and steady steps result in steady progress.
As I stay the course, my inner healing continues and I grow more whole. Pain has proven herself to be a faithful companion, and when her work is done, I have faith that she will move on.