I woke up this Tuesday morning, stepped out of bed, and within my first couple steps, I was staggering in breath-taking pain. WTF. Sharp, intense, shooting up my back and down my leg, and centralized in my ass, right side, this pain has made a rude and unexpected appearance back in my life.
I am immediately filled with anger, resistance.
NOT NOW. NOT welcome. NOT okay. TOO BUSY. Too much going on. I immediately began my hip and back stretches, Matt helping me, though it hurt like hell and some stretches literally were impossible.
May I repeat, WTF.
See, this sciatica and I have a long history together, but so much time had passed, three or four years, and while I am always in some level of daily pain and soreness in my back and hips, not like this.
NOPE. I’m not having it. I resisted. I complained. I argued. I felt disappointed in my body.
Here’s the worst part. I felt betrayed by my body. As you may know, body acceptance, embodiment practices, body awareness, they’ve been my thing lately, and me and my body, we have a love affair going on. So more WTFs. I’m not pleased with this, not one bit.
All day Tuesday, all day Wednesday, going through the whys, through the questions, What have I done to bring this on? Why now? What’s the lesson? What’s the message? WHY? WHY? WHY?
Thinking of my calendar, my life ahead, remembering how a few years ago, this situation was chronic, for many, many months, and it shut my whole life down, so now, I’m scared on top of everything else. The implications. I can’t stop working. Fear, anger and disappointment, more resistance, all creating a mad, spiraling tail spin.
And then one of my dearest friends, my truth-telling sister Angela chats me up on Facebook. I tell her I might need to cancel her birthday date night tomorrow. It’s too painful to sit, drive, stand, move. She sympathizes, gives me love, asks what she can do and encourages me to ask for prayers and healing energy from my support system. (I’m asking for them now, please. Whatever you’re into, whatever you believe in, I’ll take whatever you can spare!)
Then, she helps me remember how futile resistance is, and how surrender is always a better choice. As stubborn as I am, as difficult surrender can feel at times, it’s always the best choice. Because here I am, in a vicious, unexpected pain cycle. YOU ARE HERE, the mall map of my life would point with a big red X, right here, in this pain.
Today, in my morning reading of “A Year of Conscious Living” daily meditations book by Gay Hendricks, wouldn’t you know it? The entry for today is about physical pain. About resisting and surrendering, and I’m stunned. I feel held, seen, cared for by the Divine. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
Shaking my head at divine perfection and the way we get what we need, exactly when we need it, I read these words…
“I know what to do now. Stop resisting the pain. Flow with it instead of fighting or fleeing from it. Just breathe. Just flow.”
And now, I remind myself, I don’t have to know “WHY.” I can just be with what is.
I have two choices here. I can focus my energy on being with myself, taking care of myself, tending to this uninvited guest like a good host. Or I can resist.
So I treat myself tenderly, giving myself the utmost attention and care. I immediately begin doing the things I’ve learned to do, through trial and error a few years ago. I’ve earned this wisdom through pain. I trust these practices. I do the things that help. I clear space on my calendar, to make time for rest and recovery, to make a welcoming place for this surprise guest.
I feel the surrender, as it shifts from resistance, and it feels like freedom.
It feels spacious and loving, and I can feel restoration already happening within me.
If there is a lesson for me here, it’s surrender.
If there is a message here, it’s tend to yourself.
There is no need to find fault or blame. My body hasn’t betrayed me. This pain is a set of responses, facts and data, signals. My body is not at fault. She is hurting.
My body is loving me through this. Can I offer her the same?
So with my breath, I return to flow. Even with this pain, I return to my BodyLove Affair. Is this pain an invitation to love my body better? Ohhh… Well then. So shall it be.
I will love my body better.
I will love her through this.
I am on her side.