Learn to appreciate your pain
What! Are you crazy? Not as much as I used to be!
We were challenged today to consider ways that our life has been made better because of our pain. Actually this isn’t a new concept to me. I knew for some time that I was addicted to high stress and demanding work environments. I knew it wasn’t healthy for me but I couldn’t get out of it myself. That is where I am thankful for the pain. It wasn’t a pleasant experience. It was like ripping my heart out. But as time went by and I started unwinding this overwound body, I appreciated the path I am on and the pain that made it possible.
The other aspect that we learned about is the attachment we have to our pain. During a lesson on Thai Chi we were practicing focusing on our breathing. The focus was supposed to be solely on our breathing. We shouldn’t let our mind wander but when it did we should simply return our attention to the breathing. After the exercise we were asked about the thing that we were thinking about when we lost our focus. Mine was the pain in my shoulder. The goal is to set the object that would take your attention away and set it aside so you could focus on the breathing. This act of returning focus on the desired object is the goal of the exercise and it can be a way for us to learn to divert our attention away from pain and toward other activities that are more desired. I think it goes along very well with mindfulness where we keep our focus on the moment.
Today we set our non-physical therapy goals for the next month. I’m excited that the program is about over and I’ll get to start applying the techniques that I have learned in broader areas of my life. I have already started having discussion with Denise about what some of our mutual goals are and how I will pace myself on a day to day basis. I think she is going to be a great teammate as I get accustomed to my new life plan.