Today my focus is on the difference between pain and discomfort. In yoga, most instructors will remind you that discomfort is a place to grow, pain is a place to stop. When we experience true pain, our bodies are telling us something needs to change. Discomfort, on the other hand, provides opportunities for us to become stronger as we explore this space. I have probably heard this at least a hundred times, but only this weekend has it started to make sense.
About two months ago I embarked on a journey to heal myself naturally. There is nothing horribly wrong with me, just a “condition” that results in what I have always considered to be reoccurring pain. The only thing doctors could offer me were pain killers, so, as soon as the discomfort began, I would medicate as not to disrupt my normal routines and to save myself from what I considered to be suffering.
What I discovered as I began my natural treatment was that true healing is hard work. I now understand why many people give up on natural remedies as the healing takes weeks, months, maybe even years of consistent effort. In addition to changing my diet, taking various flower essences, and drinking herbal teas, I have had to spend 30+ minutes a day, most days of the week, applying castor oil packs. Setting aside this time has been hard work. It has also been an extreme blessing because it has forced me to slow down my busy evenings.
Fast forward to today. As the familiar discomfort set into my body, I braced myself for pain. Last time, I refused pain killers, intent to fully feel what it was like before doing all the hard work to heal myself. This time, it is already different. I am uncomfortable, yes, but so far I have not experienced any real pain. Even if I soon eat my words, I will feel like I have made progress because I have created a space to grow within the discomfort. I have also come to recognize the difference between discomfort and pain, an amazingly powerful distinction in the mind.
I leave you with a Sunday Song about pain. Maybe not exactly the same kind of pain I wrote about, but a powerful song and a challenge presented by a family member to include in today’s blog entry. Ironically, it rather fits even though I forgot about the challenge until the end of this post. Love it when everything comes together, even imperfectly.
Stunning song, lyrics, and video. I mean, just, wow. Everything about it. As for your post, I’m sorry to hear about your health issues, which you’ve alluded to recently. For various reasons, I’ve spent most of my life in various degrees of ache and pain. Primarily as the result of the impact my sports and physical activities have on my body. Until my groin injury, all of those aches and pains were never enough to slow me down or stop me. But now, with something that, for the most part, doesn’t even hurt that much — just an ache that comes and goes — I’m almost completely stopped. I feel your pain … pun intended.
Yes, I was very moved by that song, although a bit bummed to hear it was a Nine Inch Nails cover! Still amazing though. And, thanks for the kind thoughts. I’m pretty used to it, has been an issue for years, but am finally realizing my own power in doing something about it… Or, hoping I have power in doing something about it 😉 I can imagine that ongoing pain slows you down over time. Wishing some healing your direction, too.
Funny … I too was disappointed to see it was originally by Nine Inch Nails. I’m not going to bother looking for their version. 🙂
Espero que te mejores!
Gracias. Es algo que he tenido por muchos años. Voy a vencerla 😉
(Hopefully that made sense, usually my Spanish is accompanied by many hand gestures and apologetic smiles that make my mistakes less noticeable…)
That makes sense. Your Spanish is muy bueno 😉