Yesterday was a HARD day. A day filled with all the pains. The pain of being a compassionate, empathic human who loves her work AND recognizes how emotionally and spiritually painful it can be -as well as the physical pain of just sitting in my therapy chair can be- who knew that holding my body in that upright position for hours could take such a toll on my neck, shoulder, and arm? And my quirky arm is supported with a comfy pillow the whole time.
This is why I am in a deeply committed relationship with my heating pad. We are in love.
The emotional pains of being a mother were loud yesterday. A mother who wanted desperately to step in and nurture and protect and who had to hold all the space internally and externally without hovering or over-stepping. This is not natural for those of us with maternal instincts that are such driving forces – surging, powerful forces that flood us.
Physical pains of nerve damage shooting down from my neck all the way through my left fingertips- ALL DAMN DAY. Muscular pain in my left scapular area ( but YAY that I have feeling there again-sometimes) from being able to use my weights and therapy bands and practice yoga again.
The pain of experiencing enraging feelings at our healthcare system as I was listening to a friend’s horrible and scary experiences with our “health” care system that did not seem the least bit interested in her concerns and that included a health care provider actually laughing at an important and reasonable question she raised. This friend is a strong woman who knows how to be her own advocate so at least there is that.
So isn’t it wonderful that today was, to coin my husband’s words, a recovery day. A day that started with a massage from one of the most incredible humans with the most magical hands – who knows chronic pain inside and out. Just being on her table before the massage begins fills me with a sense of peace. She always ends the massage with a gentle reminder to take slow deep breaths and to remember how relaxed my body feels at that moment so that I can have that imprint to call on when I need it- because she knows I will need it multiple times before our next session.
And then I got to have lunch with one of my favorite people at one of my favorite restaurants. Yummy and nourishing food for my body and soul. You know those people who you feel safe to be your authentic self with, those people who are so real themselves that they allow you to be? Hang on to those people. Treasure them.
And to top it all off, I had my second acupuncture appointment with another special and smart human I have the pleasure of learning from and connecting with as she is providing another healing tool as well as offering such compassion and warmth on every energetic level. She said something that still has me processing – that struck me in my core- That it took my body paralyzing me to get me to listen to it- to actually slow down and pay close attention and reset. This perspective – Another one of my multiple surprises on this journey of establishing this “new normal” and how to live in a more peaceful way with MS.
So she puts in all these needles everywhere- and as I am lying there feeling all of these zings ( not the painful MS Zings- these are very different zings), my entire left arm- starting way up in my neck and shooting all the way down through my thumb and fingertips is pulsating and it feels very loud and strong- painful but in a new way that I am having a difficult time finding the right way to describe with language.
And this goes on and on and I am breathing deeply into it and focusing my mental energy on telling myself that my body is safe and it does actually love me AND that it can hurt me AND still be safe. And the whole time all of these weird feelings in my arm are doing whatever they are doing. So then the beautiful acupuncturist comes back in and I’m describing what’s happening to her- and she lets me know that this is wonderful feedback- that this is my nerves “waking up”… music to my ears. That this is good pain. And the way that she explains it- with her lovely voice and from a wealth of experience- makes the hopefulness just bloom inside of me. And please know that I am gratefully aware of how fortunate and privileged I am to have the resources to be able to experiment with these healing modalities.
So here’s to the ongoing flow of hard days and recovery days and becoming more intentional about conserving my energy and honoring my body so that it may continue to operate in the complex ways it needs so that I am in balance and alignment with myself, which ultimately empowers me to keep showing up for others.
And so may we all continue to work on finding that physical and emotional and spiritual alignment in whatever ways we feel convicted to do as we find our own balance. And may we give ourselves ongoing permission to come back to ourselves as many times as we need to do so.