We can learn to doubt others when we have disagreements with them. Maybe we feel they let us down. Maybe we feel we let them down. Maybe we feel we let ourselves down.
When we suffer with chronic pain, whether it is physical, emotional, financial, spiritual, we can feel that our body has let us down.
How can you trust your body when you’re hurting all the time?
Those of us in recovery from chronic pain often also feel the uncomfortable remnants of old letdown.
We may feel that we have let our Higher Power down by not being able to live our purpose because we are wracked with pain and cannot function normally.
We may feel that our Higher Power has let us down. Maybe we feel we’re being punished.
We can lose trust in others, ourselves, our body, and even our Higher Power.
Trust, then, becomes a major issue for us.
In letdown, we feel contracted and withdrawn into ourselves, and we feel decidedly uncomfortable. Our sense of separation grows. If we allow ourselves to dwell here, this feeling will only grow.
Part of the conundrum of chronic pain is how the brain changes and shifts towards a negative bias. In our discomfort, our mind comes in and labels the discomforting sensation as “bad” and we look for any way we can find to escape it. In chronic pain, this tendency is greatly accentuated.
The problem with this approach is that we end up feeding the pain and further straining our sense of trust because we are judging the situation and then taking action to avoid feeling it. The body is trying to get its signal to us that the uncomfortable thing in it needs our attention, yet we do everything to turn away from it.
A key factor in finding the way through a stressful situation, including chronic pain, is being honest and non-judgmental about what we are feeling. Even if we do not like what we feel, we accept it anyway. In acceptance, we do not have to spend any energy on pushing away or avoiding what we are feeling. It might take some practice, but when we simply allow and witness the sensations that are arising in us, there is a sweet spot in that space where the energy is flowing freely. This sweet spot is the heart of the healing field. We lose sight of this sacred space when we fall into judgment and avoidance – and in doing so, we can block the body’s ability to heal.
At the core of this whole situation – how we deal with the uncomfortable – is a fundamental misunderstanding, or perhaps a forgetting. We have lost touch with the realization of the body’s miraculous and powerful ability to heal. In our culture of looking for the quick fix to pretty much everything, and most certainly to dealing with pain, we have lost this foundational piece: the body wants to heal and has amazing powers to do so.
So, as we build trust once again in the inherent ability of the body to heal itself, we find a measure of relief. We learn not to fight with the pain. This was such a lesson for me on my healing journey. My default behavior from old patterning is to fight with those sensations I label as ‘pain’ or ‘too much’ or ‘uncomfortable’. This always leads to more pain for me and quickly leads into suffering. I had to learn to drop my insistence on controlling everything, and let the body do its incredible healing job.
Pain is a signal that we need to pay attention to a certain part of the body. It can be an alert that damage has occurred. It can also be a message to take extra care of a part of us that is healing. So, pain, uncomfortable sensation, is part of healing, too.
My journey through chronic pain and on to discovering a thriving life took me into a great space of growing and renewing my trust in my body, my Higher Power, others, and myself.
I wish this for you as well.