“Always say ‘yes’ to the present moment… Surrender to what is. Say ‘yes’ to life – and see how life starts suddenly to start working for you rather than against you.” – Eckhart Tolle
I do try and keep my posts positive and uplifting. I even go for inspiration. Above all, I try my best to keep it real and come from my heart. It is clear to me that my purpose in life is to experience all that I can and then pass on what I learn in order to share and nurture in service to others. Here is what I do not share openly or only on the rarest of occasions. I enter these words here as an invitation to see some of my own expansion and growth as I worked through the debilitating power chronic pain wreaked in my life.
Chronic pain is a bear, hugging strongly and tightly, and digging deeply with its claws. It has a perceived super power: incessancy. It appears to have the ability to cling with never a move towards letting go. And it brings absolute heartbreak. Its visitation is as a lover that allows you to attend no other – and yet it knows nothing of love. Chronic pain is a formidable adversary. I do not even like to give it that much credit as an opponent. I try to keep the presence of chronic pain as neutral as possible. Sometimes I achieved that neutrality. Sometimes I failed utterly.
At times I have felt as if I was about to drown in hopelessness in the midst of chronic pain, not able to see a different future. Somehow I remained buoyant. My cries of “Please – mercy!” to the Universe went heard and were answered with grace, helping me to hold on and believe that there might be yet another possibility for my life. I have had moments when I saw clearly some of the gifts that chronic pain brought into my life: patience, perseverance, and compassion. I finally understood where I was holding resistance – both to the sensations I was feeling and to life in general. Such beautiful opportunities to expand my limitations and beliefs. As my adventures with chronic pain continued, a Voice came through from within, beckoning: “There is yet more work to do. Time to widen your horizons and open your heart even further.” An invitation to play bigger, even full out. So critical to my growth in so many ways – for real. But there were so many moments when I allowed myself to surrender to its darkness, surrounded by and held firmly in its thick, heavy, cloying cloak. The part where it seemed endless and unrelenting. There were times when I felt as if I was a flower wrapped tight in the bud, never receiving the signal, or been able to find the clue, to open and blossom into the world and life itself. The part where I wanted to know the answers and wanted the certainty of those answers solidly in my life. I got so used to the cloak of chronic pain that I could not really and truly imagine another story for myself. I just could not accept what was turning up for me in the moment. I judged it as too much or not of the quality I wanted. In my refusal to accept what was showing up in my present moment, I felt that I was incapable of coping with what life was bringing into my life. Clearly I could not face life on its own terms. What suffering this position brought to me – not accepting the moment and fighting it every millimeter of the way. I held on so tightly. I clung as tightly as the pain was clinging to me. We were on an infinite loop together and I had forgotten that there was any other way to live.
Here is where the work revealed itself. I felt like I existed in the loneliest place on earth. And I felt like it was almost impossible to move forward. Almost impossible. It was my choice whether to embrace the work or step back and stay closed and cowering, hidden in the bud. I heard a Voice from within me whisper gently, “What would it be like to take a contrary action? You have been doing the same thing for such a long time now.” I heard this and couldn’t imagine what such a contrary action would be. I had to learn to sit with the not knowing. I answered back, “I do not know what that action is, nor do I know what will happen if I took such an action.”
I saw that I had to let go of wanting the moment to be any different than the way it was. My contrary action was to accept the flood of sensation that chronic pain brought. I had to learn that it was okay not to know what the next moment would bring, and that the next moment would take care of itself. I had nowhere to turn but inward. I had no other alternative action but to drop all of the armor I had built up to guard against all that I was feeling. Once I pivoted into myself, I found such a hidden and unexpected treasure – a Divine Spark, where the beckonings and invitations to buoyancy, hope, courage –all of it – had been arising. Had always arisen. I just hadn’t seen this clearly with my inner eyes. I learned to drop any and all of my resistance to what I was feeling. I gave myself permission to feel all of the pain – the sensations – that were present. I learned that my judgmental labeling all of that sensation as “pain” and therefore ‘bad’ was actually contributing to my suffering. So I dropped the judgment I had about what I was feeling. Rather than fighting it all of the time, I gave into the pain. I surrendered my fight against all of that sensation. I gave it over to a Power so much greater than me and I stopped trying to carry it all by myself. Ultimately, I learned the priceless and potent lesson of the ‘sweet surrender’ – the kind that brings with it a sense of immeasurable peace. Grace in action. What a shift in perception! I learned that that Divine Spark tucked deep in the center of my heart has superpowers of Its own – the capacity to be ever present, the ability to open my heart wider and wider, ever unfolding, and step firmly beyond the grip of chronic pain.
In the end, that feeling I had of being a flower stuck in mid-blossom dissolved. I feel as if I will continue to open one more petal after another within a flower that will always and forever be opening.
There is more exploring to be done, more growth and expansion, many more answers to be found, and knowledge to be shared. That is why I am here. And that is what I will continue to do.
#UnleashYourHealingPower #ReleaseTheGripOfChronicPain #ComplementaryHealing #Recovery #kippinitreal
I would so love to hear from you. Please feel free to comment below. Please share your experience with chronic pain below and tell us what coping strategies work for you.