I love my pain

I love my pain. My pain is good.

There are two aspects to pain: the physical sensation, and the emotional response. We are frightened of it, for it warns of harm. It is possible to switch off the response: I learned to relax during electrolysis or dental treatment. I pacify the suffering animal, whispering to myself,

it is alright. It will soon be over. It is OK.

James Bond being tortured by whipping says, “I’ve got a little itch…down there…would you mind? No! No! No! No…to the right, to the right, to the right!” Do not be broken by that emotional response!

And I can do this too far. Telling H of my pain I start to cry, because I judge it, and project onto her my judgment that my pain is weak, and disproportionate, and I should not be feeling it. My desperation for the pain to be less increases it.

In meditation, if an itch seeks my attention, I should pay it attention. Then it will lessen. If I try to ignore it, it increases, to get my attention. Like a child, or an animal, or just about anything living, if they don’t feel heard they shout louder.

And there are moments when it is better not to show it.

I will be gentle with myself. Beating myself up- stop it! shut up! You’re being ridiculous!- paralyses me. Gentle acceptance might help me recover. Gentle coaxing might let me show my pain less: it will be alright; not here; take a moment; it was the right decision…

I think of something else, then the pain catches me, making me gasp.

The only way to escape it is to permit it, to stop wishing it to end, to live it; then the process works, the person moves on. We are constantly in a state of becoming.

Regret, too. Bargaining, if only’s, wish-fulfilment fantasy rather than reality- better met with hearing, persuasion, only the gentlest chiding.

“It is always like this! It will always be like this!”- my unconscious has so many ways of telling me, how bad the pain is. Hush, child. I love you.

Bouguereau, chanson de printemps

4 thoughts on “I love my pain

  1. I don’t think I’ve ever experienced emotional pain. But physical pain, yes: broken limbs, polio (as a child), kidney stones, migraine, and physical assaults. The migraines I have learnt to accept as part of being me – they’ve been a constant companion since my early teens. The others have all been relatively short term, apart from the polio which lasted for several months and left me with a permanent limp.

    It’s only the intense pains that leave me unable to breath, such a kidney stones and broken ribs, that I find frightening. I think it’s the difficulty breathing that is more frightening than the pain itself. I don’t associate pain with being life threatening, whereas the inability to breathe is very high up on my list of life threatening factors.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is a very thought-provoking post. I’ve struggled with depression at various points of my life, and I think I had a similar experience–embracing the pain as something to live with, rather than something to fight against. That said, I wish you love and healing on your journey!

    Liked by 1 person

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