Yesterday was a hard day for me. But no matter how my day goes at the end of the day I sit down and write out things I am grateful for. One thing I wrote was “pain heals.” I woke up yesterday morning feeling fine then I moved my shoulder and felt an intense pain in my neck. I pinched a nerve and all the muscles in my neck became tight and I could not turn my head. I wanted to stay in bed but I had a full day of yoga teacher training ahead of me. I did it, in pain, and when I got the end of the day, still in pain, I felt grateful because pain heals. My neck would not always be in this much pain, it would get better because it had already gotten better throughout the day.
Then I thought about pain healing in a different way. Yes, if we have injuries they heal, they get better. If something is hurt, it does not stay in that intense state of pain forever. But pain also heals us. When we go through pain in our lives, whether it is mental, physical, or emotional, the pain heals us. We often look at pain as something to get over or around. We look to feel better because pain is often unbearable. However, if we make time to sit with pain we begin to seen how pain heals us.
Pain is not something to run from, it is opportunity to sit down and figure out what is going wrong. Why is my neck hurting? What made that happen? Did I sleep funny or am I stressed? If we make friends with our pain, we can learn from it. I do not know exactly why my neck hurts, but I know I cannot just will it away. I need to make friends with the pain and help my body heal and let the pain heal me. For me, when I feel any sort of pain, it is an immediate signal to slow down and pay closer to what I am doing and what is going on around me. I use pain to figure things out and then I heal because of the pain.
Pain is a powerful tool. All pain hurts and pain cannot be avoided. No matter how hard you try life will always bring pain. It is better to make friends with pain, sit with it and get curious about it then it is to run from it. Because it is only when we acknowledge pain and let it be our teacher instead of the enemy that pain begins to heal us.