Four days ago during a rather unremarkable day, I woke up with excruciating lower back discomfort. It was the type of discomfort that rivaled childbirth pains with NO exaggeration. The pain radiated across my hips, up my back and down my legs. At it’s most horrific points, it was difficult to walk or bend forward. Many years ago I suffered a sacral injury that, at the time, had not made a great impact on me. I suspect that injury, coupled with delivering a child have since rendered my lumbar spine unstable at best and injured at worst.
Blessedly, I got in to see my chiropractor at the day 2 mark and the pain has been greatly relieved although now it seems to come and go ranging from blazing-hot-hell to absolutely non-existent. Although I’m currently on a detox, I have popped several pain relievers because it was between that or selling my screaming banshee child to a black market and I opted for keeping him.
So, on day four – today – I’ve come to the marked conclusion that while I’m going to continue caring for this however I can, chiropractic, foam rolling, massage etc., the pain will go away when it’s good and ready to go away. I can balk, scream, kick, resist, and suffer horribly or I can just observe it, become the watcher of it, and feel gratitude for the moments when it’s gone.
In my years of spiritual practice and meditation, I’ve learned the invaluable truth that what we resist, persists. The longer I choose to focus on how unwell I feel and how maddening the discomfort is, the longer I will be aware of only that which feels terrible. So instead of beating on that drum, in the words of Abraham Hicks, I am acknowledging it as it shows up, and choosing to feel gratitude for any and every moment of ease I feel. I’m also engaging in activities like walking around, squatting, light exercise that help it feel better instead of moping around and laying down which actually makes it feel much worse.
I’m not giving into the alarm bells in my egoic mind – what if something is horribly wrong? What if you can’t walk? What if….blah blah blah.
I’m focusing on how easy it is to feel better and frankly, with every passing day I do feel better. Maybe I’m learning to manage it more, or maybe the pain really is subsiding, but frankly it doesn’t matter. The only thing that matters is that I do feel better and I feel calm. I’m not angry, I’m not irritable, it’s not affecting my parenting, my job or my life. It is just a passing experience that I am choosing to observe and not engage in until it shifts out.
Of course, I will continue to see my chiropractor and seek care until this is totally resolved, but on my end, I am doing everything within my power to feed the experience I desire, NOT the experience I happily want to escape from. And in turn, pain is teaching me the power of gratitude and of becoming the witness to my life.
Isn’t life just amazing? I think so.