All of us sometime in our life have experienced physical or emotional pain. Sadly, many of us live with chronic pain on a day-to-day basis. It seems to be an accepted part of our daily life, much in the same way stress is. We all know it shouldn’t be like this, but we don’t know how to break the cycle or heal the trigger to our pain. The healthcare service is becoming more and more stretched with little or no time to treat a person as an individual and so doctors end up writing prescription after prescription to put a sticking plaster on the symptoms. We all have coping mechanisms, we look after ourselves the best that we can, with diet, yoga practice, prayer and even meditation, but what does being in pain teach us?
Like many of you, I have had a long relationship with pain which I manage with a strict diet and yoga. I know without yoga, I would be in a very different place physically than I am now. I am into my ninth year of ‘pain management’ and here are some of the lessons it has taught me.
- Pain makes you present. It brings your attention into the now. If you surrender to this, it does allow for the creative process to happen and things do seem to organically flow into your life (for the good)
- You have true empathy and compassion for others who may also be suffering. Whilst we all experience pain in different ways, you deeply understand and feel for another person who is in distress
- It leads you on a quest to your authentic self through self-enquiry
- You have gratitude and appreciation for life and people, even more on those days when you are in less pain than usual. The world looks much brighter and lighter and everything is so much easier. You take things less for granted and cherish your loved ones on a level that you might not have reached previously. Pain slows you down and it allows you to take in more of your surroundings and honour what you see and have around you
- You can see beyond the physical and appreciate the spirit in everything. It is like the veil thins between the two worlds. This is more noticeable on days when your pain levels are high
- You have a bottomless bucket of hope and never give up trying. You have a warrior-like spirit. Yes, there are some days where you feel less optimistic but overall, you keep fighting!
If you suffer with chronic pain either physically or mentally, I would love to hear what you have learnt along the way.
With love and healing blessings.