Flashback to Thanksgiving, 2011:
One year after back surgery I was visiting Southern California and went to Santa Monica Pier. The sun, the sand, the water – people with carefree smiles and laughter out and about enjoying themselves on a lovely fall afternoon…. and there I was… trapped…. in agony. I felt like my body was breaking. I was so afraid and ashamed – what a nightmare.
Every moment was ruled by my discomfort. Every choice I made reflected my pain and my fear of what movement or activity might magnify it.
Today, 8 years later, I can honestly say how truly grateful I am for my experience with chronic pain. My road to recovery was paved with precious gifts.
I learned to acknowledge and ultimately accept the emotional pain that had remained stored in my body for decades. This practice of compassionate self- awareness gradually allowed the emotional discomfort to move through me leading to deep healing of mind, body, emotions and spirit.
The mindbody approach to healing addresses every part of our lives – mind, body, emotions and spirit. Our bodies are mirrors of our lives. When we pause and pay close attention to the messages they hold, we begin to shift our awareness to the answers that lie within each of us.
Our “hell and back” stories often lead us to our life’s true purpose, as difficult as that is to understand when we are suffering.
Yet, I continually need to remind myself to acknowledge, allow and accept painful emotions. I sometimes find myself out of balance; and life challenges continue in new and surprising ways.
In a recent blog I shared my current experience with a challenging symptom that appeared 5 years after my recovery. You can read about it here.
Yet, when I compare my life in 2011 to my life today, in spite of the fact that I am not symptom free; I am filled with awe at the amazing restorative and healing powers we each possess.
Regardless of the challenges at hand I know that I can connect with the safe haven that has always been within me and brings me peace. Honoring my own truth connected me with myself.
The self that was revealed to me is the self that remains steady when I falter, the self who knows that being lost is an essential part of being found and the self that eternally guides me as I embrace fear and uncertainty along the way.
My pain became my gift!