When you are in a state of suffering and distress, it is difficult to be peaceful, spiritual and at ease, yet this is the place you long to be in. I know because I have experience with chronic pain and illness.
I have enjoyed many months with little to no pain by working on myself emotionally, mentally, physically and spiritually. When I began to have chronic pain issues, nine years ago, I never thought I could have a day without pain. I tried several different medications but decided to live without them because I could not tolerate the side effects being a sensitive person.
You look healthy!
As a child, I hid my pain from others. I felt responsible, being an empath, for everyone’s emotional well being. I often wore a smile and focused on those around me, ignoring my own needs. From the outside, I looked healthy, yet within I carried hidden pain. The saying, “you never know what someone is going through,” is true for someone who lives with chronic pain and invisible illness.
Now, I express my pain in healthy ways, in order to take care of myself. I let others know what I am going through when I need to withdraw temporarily in order to heal myself. Pain has brought me a more spiritual life. I cry out to God, the angels and spiritual helpers, while I surrender to their love and guidance
I write as part of my healing. Recently, I had a flare up of two sites at once. At first, I thought; what did I do wrong? I realized with any chronic condition you will experience cycles of relapse and remission.
Working with the pain
Acceptance- Be where you are. Trying to escape pain does not work because it is with you and focusing on the pain intensifies it because you are teaching your brain to think about the sensation. If it is not severe, you can distract from it temporarily.
There are times the answer lies in acceptance. Accept the hopeless feeling and sit with it. As you focus on your slow, rhythmic breathing, say to yourself, “I feel stuck right now, I feel hopeless, I don’t know what to do.” People are resistant to use the word hopeless because they have a fear of getting stuck in it. You need to admit where you are, in order to surrender and move through it. It is when you resist or deny feelings, you get stuck.
Remember there is hope even when you do not feel it. Know you can keep going and you are not alone. There are answers for you even if you haven’t found them yet.
Be gentle with yourself. When you see someone you love in a vulnerable state you give them gentle loving care, why not yourself? You are just as valuable and worthy. Soften your voice, speak kindly and hold a space for yourself. When you experience a rough day, keep your schedule light.
Employ self-care. What does self-care mean for you? It can be a favorite cup of tea, a warm blanket, soft music and/or a scented candle.
Exercise. If your doctor recommends exercise, do it. A gentle walk can help some forms of pain. When you circulate the blood and connect with nature, it supports the healing process.
Rest. There is great power in being. A lot of healing takes place with restorative sleep, meditation and mindfulness. Pain is an exhausting experience, it drains your energy. Make time to rest.
Find a therapist. You will want a psychotherapist who is compassionate about your health but also will challenge you to think and act differently. Cognitive behavioral therapy works specifically with your thoughts and behaviors. This type of treatment helps you change your thinking about the pain sensation and has been highly effective with pain management.
We all suffer pain at some point in our lives whether it is mental, physical or spiritual. It is human nature to want to avoid pain, yet pain can teach you something valuable about yourself. It is up to you to discover that meaning and a therapist can help you with this process. The next time you feel pain, work with your body but do not forget your mind. Your mind is much more powerful than any of us know or believe.
I highly recommend this book to help you through your journey, it has helped me through mine. The 12 Stages of Healing by Donald M. Epstein D.C. In it, the author teaches breathing exercises and affirmations for each stage of healing from suffering through reclaiming your power. Buy it here on Amazon.
Lisa Hutchison LMHC is a licensed psychotherapist and writing coach for empaths and artists. Her specialty is working with professionals who get drained from their helping efforts, recharge and renew their energy. If you would like to learn more about Lisa and her practice visit www.lisahutchison.net and pick up your FREE 10 page e-book called 8 Simple Things That Release Chaos From Your Life Now!