Unleash the Grip of Chronic Pain – Dropping Judgment

In honor of Pain Awareness Month, I am continuing my blog series on chronic pain. This one looks at how judgment can play a role in our chronic pain experience.

We can help unleash the grip of chronic pain on us by dropping our judgment about it. We wrestle with pain. We struggle with it. We try this and we try that. No matter what we do, it seems the pain is clasping us. We cannot escape, but we want to flee its clutches. The more we try to assert our control, the tighter we feel it hold us.

Underneath all the angst and skirmishing lives something else that breathes even more life into this fire of pain – judgment. We judge the pain as bad. It’s really sensation – intense sensation – but sensation nonetheless. Yet we are quick to reject this message from the body, call it wrong, and do whatever we can to ‘get rid of it’. Judgment is right up there with The Four Aggravations: negative thinking, resentment, procrastination, and self-doubt. Judgment is sitting right in the middle of all four of these and it can sit in the midst of our pain experience. The longer we feel the pain and add the helping of judgment, the higher we turn the flames up on our pain experience until chronic pain feels endless.

Pain is a signal that our body has damage. It does what it can to get us to heed its call. It will remain, through often in different versions of itself, until the damage has fully healed.  The presence of pain is also then an indicator of healing.

The first time I really understood this concept was when I was sitting in a pain management program listening to Dr. Peter Przekop say, “Don’t judge the moment.” When I heard this, I thought to myself, “What is he talking about? I’m just sitting here minding my own business, listening and not judging anything.” I knew this doctor was onto something. I just wasn’t sure what it was. I listened further, my mind suspended in his statement “don’t judge the moment”. Suddenly, I had an a-ha moment. I realized he was talking about my pain and my relationship to it and with it. I had been judging my pain as wrong and had taken a stand on my commitment to this pronouncement. I also began to get a glimpse of how much energy I was expending on holding to this position. I was wound up tight like a top and some of my tension was as expression of the battle I was engaged in with my pain.

We judge our bodies for feeling pain. We judge them for not healing fast enough. We may judge our doctors and other health practitioners for not doing more to help us with our illness. We can even judge ourselves for not healing ‘the way we’re supposed to’ or ‘the way someone else says we’re supposed to’. We are judge, jury, and if we could, we’d be the executioner of our pain. Look at the negative energy we are capable of bringing to our pain.

The body is merely sending up to us as a sign that we need to turn more of our attention to it. Yet we read this signal as bad. We view it as a problem that we need to rush with all due haste to extinguish. We do our best to turn away from it. If we could just hold off on the judgment, we might find that the human body is a miraculous healing machine. We expend all sorts of energy holding onto all the judgment around these intense sensations that we feel. We block our own healing with such a pronouncement. All that energy could be utilized for healing. When we drop the energy of judgment from our healing, we lift the weight of such criticism out of the whole healing equation. We open the way to accelerating healing the pain we wanted so badly ‘to get rid of’ in the first place. The body wants to heal. We don’t have to suffer. The body needs us as a . We must feed, water, rest, and exercise the body to heal. We need to try our best not to stand in the way of our healing through the added injury of judgment.

For more on unleashing the grip of chronic pain, visit https://Elizabeth-Kipp.com/category/elizabeths-blog

Elizabeth's Blog, Unleash The Grip of Chronic Pain, Judgment

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