How far am I willing to go to ignore pain?
One of the things I have been thinking about lately through the tooth pain, is just how much I ignored it. I really didn't think I was ignoring the pain, but as I look back, I realize that I was. It took such an intense pain that would not give up, to push me to actually do something about it. Imagine the depths I went to just to avoid the inevitable of going to the dentist.
At first, I was having a painful wrist, where it was hard to do anything with my right hand. I was trying to explain it in my mind as carpal tunnel or spending too much time using the mouse on my computer. Little did I realize at the time, my body was compensating for me during my sleep time at night. It was helping me to avoid laying on the side of my face that hurt by using my hand to shield me from the pain. I was completely oblivious that this was going on. Yet, I felt the wrist pain.
Then there was the sore throat and the barely felt tooth pain, which I just passed off to heat stress and allergies from yard work. However, the tooth pain and pressure in my jaw persisted days after these stresses. Yet, I did not allow myself to connect with the pain. I was oblivious to it.
Even the days leading up to the start of the horrible tooth pain, I tried to ignore the nuisance of it. I remember using ice packs on my mouth to help relieve the pain. This was all done in silence and away from the view of house guests we had staying with us.
For I could not let anyone know the truth about how bad the pain was. If I did, then everyone would have seen the shame that I harbored deep within me, I reasoned. I didn't want anyone to see that. The shame I felt from being triggered to things in my past was nothing I wanted anyone to know about. I suffered in silence, hoping that all of this would just go away.
The thing is, the pain got so intense that I had to push through the fears and shame to make an appointment. I was so scared to call the dentist office that I sat with the intense pain for many days. For in my mind, it was not about the tooth that needed attention. It was about the shame that it connects to that my mind so badly wanted to hide from. While that may sound "strange", it is at the root of what is behind my avoidance of the dentist.
Just image though, what my mind and body was willing to do to avoid the pain and not deal with it. It did everything it could to pretend the pain was not there. My body completely disconnected from the pain. It found ways to compensate and shift the pain to other areas, but it was still there. It tried to cover it up and act as if it did not exist.
We all do this in our lives to on degree or another. It may be back pain, neck pain, illness, disease, colds and flu, headaches, financial stress or just about any other situation we face in life. If this sounds too far fetched, read any one of Dr John Sarno's books and see what the body connects to and how far it is willing to go. Times of pain, discomfort and frustration in our lives, is the way in which our body, mind and spirit try to get our attention.
It is the wise that listen to these messages from the body and not ignore them. For they show up for a reason. They help us grow, heal, move forward and evolve our lives. If we medicate them or compensate for them, we may alleviate the pain and discomfort temporarily, but it is still there. Not until we go in and deal with these things, will we get to the true source of the pain.
It will be like a tiger waiting in the brush, ready to pounce upon its prey at an unexpected moment. The slightest trigger or unrelated event may begin a cascade of situations that once again bring us front and center with our pain. May we then have the courage to embrace and allow it, instead of compensating and running from it. For when we embrace courage, we truly give ourselves the moment to change our lives forever.
*For more articles, check out the Mind Body Thoughts Blog