Have you ever been laid up in bed for an extended period of time? Depending on the malady and extent of the pain and suffering, the experience can vary from mildly annoying to downright miserable. Well this peaceful woman had a chance to practice what she preaches, yet again.
A few weeks ago I was innocently eating an orange when the exceptionally delicious juice decided to go down my windpipe instead of my eshophagus. (You would think that after all of these years of eating experience I would know how to avoid this from happening!)
The wisdom of my body knew that a foreign substance was in it’s windpipe and it started to cough violently to expel what was not supposed to be there. What happened next you ask?
My back went out, bad, REALLY bad. So bad that I was flat on my back like a turtle, flipped over without control. Every movement and position I tried was excruciating. I couldn’t sit or stand and lying down was barely tolerable. I was truly suffering.
On day 3 of this “experience”, I remembered my own words that I have said to many of my precious clients. “The body holds stress and unexpressed emotions. Crying is a natural way to release those emotions. Babies in their inate wisdom do it all the time” So following my own advice, I started to ball my eyes out.
I cried and sobbed allowing my voice to go up as loud as it needed to go as it expressed and released the intense pain in my body. Thoughts and images ran through my head of when I lost my dear mother to a stroke, my sister-in-law to lung cancer, and too many other losses to count.
I cried for myself, the world, and for all who suffer on a daily basis with chronic pain with little hope of getting better. When finally there were no more tears left, a familiar feeling of relief swept over my heart. My muscles were less tense and I felt a sense of calm. I had a half smile on my face as I once again realized that suffering brought me to the moment. A painful moment yes, but isn’t that what life is fully about? Happy moments, sad moments, funny moments and yes, painful moments?
If we can embrace all of our moments for what they are, we allow ourselves the richness and fullness of being truly alive. Without pain we would not know joy and the gratitude of NOT being in pain.
Today I am “gratefully back” from my journey of suffering. I am grateful for the opportunity to grow my mindful practice and to grow my compassion for others in pain. I am grateful to my husband Bill for being there to help me with gentleness and sometimes even humor when he blew dust off of my toe.
I am grateful for my friends and neighbors who checked on me almost daily reminding me that I am loved. I am grateful to be able to sit up today and type this reminder that life is a series of fleeting moments and that each one of them is meaningful regardless of how we might judge them.
If you happen to find yourself suffering one day, give yourself the gift of a good cry, be open to the gift of the moment and pat yourself on the back for allowing yourself to be fully alive, aware and “here”.
Copyright 2012/All rights reserved
Janice Borghoff is the Founder of A Peaceful Woman ~ Find Your Inner Calm and is a Certified Medical Meditation and Stress Management Consultant