Pain That Stops Your Spiritual Growth
December 22, 2014
Pain is one of those problems in life that creeps up on you, comes in unexpected ways, or can simply abide with you 24-hours a day. I thought I had had a great massage last week, dealing with some lower back pain, but what happened as a result of loosening some muscles is an old pain returned. Perhaps, the seizing muscles around that old pain were trying to keep me from the pain I feel now. I woke up and when I bent down to pet my dog, pain like electric shock grabbed my lower back and held on tightly.
I don’t remember lifting anything yesterday. I don’t remember a moment in the day that something felt different or peculiar in my back or hip. I simply woke up with one of the worst pains I have had in a long time. This was three in the morning. Getting back to sleep happened on a recliner with ice packs and lots of pain medication. What I would like to discuss today is how to deal with pain in such a way that it doesn’t affect your spiritual growth or your daily life.
For many years, I dealt with an arthritic condition that resulted from a bad school bus accident in the eighth grade. Yes, I have been dealing with pain for that long. However, in my search for relief, I discovered yoga about twenty-eight years ago and combined yoga with some special active muscle release exercises and a regimen of prophylactic medicine that keeps me almost pain free every day. However, every once in a while, this old back pain will flare up. It’s as if I am in the bus wreck all over again. My biggest concern, when this happens, is that my wonderful world and life will stop or that I’ll enter into a pity-me syndrome. (Right now, I just want to eat warm pudding and have my mother take care of me all day.)
Today, I decided a different tact. I woke up at the same time I always do and meditated. Strangely enough, the pain completely diminished during the meditation. When I came back to life from my meditation with my dog pawing me to go out, the pain began to creep back up. In a matter of thirty minutes I’m almost up to an 8 on a scale from 1 to 10. I decided, while I was walking Coco, that I would try to stay with my intended day, being aware of the pain, cautiously walking forward, but forward I would walk—pain or not.
The people I notice who manage life with debilitating diseases and pain are those who won’t let life stop them or get into a self-abusive decline that requires all of their energy to guilt themselves into believing they deserve the pain. Get this one affirmation now: NO ONE DESERVES PAIN. Pain happens as a result of the human condition. Even most psychological pain is a result of neurological problems that no one is personally responsible for—even depression can mostly be clinical.
Responsibility and management are two very different animals.
We are not required to blame ourselves for anything in life. However, we are asked to look at a situation we may be going through and deal with it, either to learn a lesson or gain more compassion and love. God isn’t in heaven doling out things we deserve. Otherwise, Mother Theresa would be driving a Cadillac filled with all the food she needs to feed the world.
The human condition is more of an unlucky draw sometimes, like buying a car that is a lemon. It’s brand new. It should be working perfectly. But everything goes wrong with it, including a funny smell that you can’t discern or get rid of. Most companies won’t take back a lemon. They will do everything they can to fix a new car with problems, but you end up spending half of your time at the mechanics. With the body, it’s doctor’s offices and filling prescriptive medications that happen when you get sick.
I have a friend who went through cancer. Right after her husband nursed her through her last treatments, he came down with it—twice! This couple is lovely and sweet and neither deserves to have gone through any of this mess. But, the human condition is what it is. Both adopted a very good disposition about their issues. They contacted friends. People alternated taking the couple to treatment until all was well again.
I know times of pain and disillusionment overwhelmed both of them, but they got through it with the help of loved ones, by keeping their chins up, and continuing with their work for most of the treatment. Honestly, I believe not giving into the sickness is what keeps people like my friends alive and vibrant during an awful process such as cancer.
You may ask: does God cause this pain?
The answer to that question is: When it rains are you subject to it? If lightning hits your house, would you consider God to have done that?
Some religions and spiritual theories actually do fault the person. Personally, I believe God is Love. If I always start with this premise, then I can find a way to believe that what I’m dealing with in any aspect of my life—even pain—is worth going through to get to a perfect lesson or result. We don’t know whom we will meet on the path that sometimes contains a U-turn from sickness. The NOW is perfect in all of its human challenges. If you learn to live with this concept, even pain will diminish.
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Chosen to show his new hypnotherapeutic techniques on The Learning Channel (TLC) and also given the opportunity to teach at the world conference for Learning, and received the award of excellence for Helping Overcome Obesity in Nashville, Bo Sebastian is the writer and director of Finding Authentic You and Uncommon Gay Spiritual Warrior. Go directly to Amazon/Amazon Kindle to buy any of his wonderfully inspired books: ]