What Can Pain Teach Us?

What Can Pain Teach Us?

Well, I’ve done it this time. 8 days ago I pulled something in my leg/hip while stretching post exercise class and it’s gone from bad to worse. I’m now for the first time in my life using a walker and a cane. I admit to not being happy with this situation.

We are sorting it out with the assistance of an orthopedic group but until that is done, I’m living in that nowhere land of “not sure, unknown, who knows”.

This afternoon, after a cortisone shot and sitting with an ice pack, I moved ever so slightly and got a big zing of pain that would bring a strong man to his knees. So not fair I’m thinking. I was doing everything that I should be doing or at least that I have been told to do: rest, ice, have the shot.

So I began to think about why we have pain, limitations to our movement and lives, and why I’ve been stopped dead in my tracks in spite of having a list of “to-do’s” a mile long. In my ruminating on this, this is what I have come to and I would love it if you would add to this. Because for sure you have something of value to offer here.

First, Pain slows us down.
Does it ever. I resist things mightily when they do not dovetail with my own wishes. Oh my, do I ever. So even though I have the best intentions of keeping up with my schedule, I just can’t.

It keeps us humble.
I can see that it is putting me in my place as it clearly is steering this vehicle, not me. Although I think I am in charge, I’m never really in charge! HAHA. That joke is on me!
I’m reminded of the part of the Lord’s Prayer that says “not my will but thy will”. Indeed.

Pain can redirect us.
So yes, I have had to slow down. In fact, I’m moving so slowly I’ve had time to reflect on where I am going. And you know what? I’m not changing directions exactly but I have modified my route. This one is the better one for me at this moment in time so I have to say thank you, pain. This is a great detour I would not have seen if I were whizzing down the track!

Pain can talk to us.
I sat with my pain today and asked if for messages. I got some. Wow. Some good messages. Thank you, pain.

Pain can guide us.
This time I am trying to listen to the wisdom and guidance that the pain might have for me, to be aware of where it is directing me. As mentioned before, I’m taking a bit of a detour which at this point seems a wise redirection. It has also directed me to rest more and to avoid some movements that were not supportive of my body type. It’s making me aware of how I move and when, how I am walking and where my gait is off. I’m learning a lot about my body’s movement that I was not aware of before.

It certainly does get our attention. When we don’t pay attention to other cues we are given, it grabs us severely and says “can you hear me now?” Oh yeah, I can hear you now…..and I’m listening.

These are just a few things I have come to. Perhaps you can enlighten me further because right now, in the middle of the “crisis”, I would love to hear what you have to say about pain and why we experience it. I have no doubt there are positive things that come to us via pain and hope that this time I don’t overlook any of them.

Speed Limit!


Here we are at the end of the summer and I for one am wondering where on earth summer went? Is it me or is time speeding up?


At any rate, it is Labor Day weekend, a holiday where we honor our work ethic and the laborers who make the nation, at least in the past, a prosperous and successful one. It is part of our culture to honor working hard. After all, it is people who work hard that made this country what it once was.


But where is the day that honors meditation, or rest, or slowing down? I don’t see that we do slow down that much in our society, nor are we encouraged to. Everything is geared to faster! now! hurry! We are always head down looking at our devices that alert us to texts, social media updates, emails. We are constantly searching for things that are quick fixes, quick answers, instant gratification.


Being enmeshed in this is like shutting out our connection to the wisdom that lies within us all. It robs us of patience replacing that with a feeling of entitlement to quick, instant, immediate results. By being so tuned in to the culture of now, we will eventually short ourselves out by being constantly plugged in much like a childhood toy that is fueled by batteries, dying one day when we most want to play with it.


So on this weekend where we celebrate work, workers and the like, take a few moments for contemplation as well. Slow down and learn to listen. After a few tries at that, see if you can incorporate that into your daily lives. For it is there, in the stillness of being connected to your heart and intuition that you will find the true guidance and true connection we are all looking for.



Tuning into the Heart

Tuning into the Heart