Sometimes lessons we need to learn are a pain in the ass, but this lesson I am experiencing is a pain in the back.
Short version. A couple of weeks ago I started experiencing back pain. First episode was a work collision that took me down in a hallway. The following Monday, another encounter opened me to a another couple of minutes of bring me to my knees in pain. On Thursday of that week I could barely move and was convinced my back has been fractured during a shovel incident. I called out of work, and somehow found a sweet spot sitting on the couch, knees to my chest, and later in the day, the pain scaled down a bit.
The next morning when still having trouble even walking, I went to the ER. The good news was my spine was not fractured. The bad news was the strain and possible tear could take 5-6 weeks to heal.
LESSON ONE: Pain is best defined on a scale. I have had some physical pain in my life (migraines, childbirth, appendicitis, tooth pain, surgeries). This pain changed the definition of my 1- 10 scale. Life sometimes takes us out at the knees. Disappointment, loss, grief. Life pain sometimes affects us physically. It can break us. We have all heard the adage what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger. There is truth to that. Sometimes the life pain does kill us though. It takes us down to such a deep and dark place, and it takes a fierce inner fight to struggle our way back to the surface. Some just don’t have the fight in them anymore. The only thing we should be offering these people is our love.
LESSON TWO: My husband has had back issues since 2003. There have been episodes when he lost a day or two. A couple of years ago he was changing light fixtures and we lost him for about 5 weeks.. My mother had ruptured disks, but more seriously disintegration of her spine. I could not feel their pain, but I could see it every time they moved. Now as I am feeling my pain, I am feeling theirs as well. I am thinking how many times they felt crippled and I didn’t understand the intensity of what they were experiencing. I have been doing inner “I am so sorrys” over and over again, traveling to the past in my inner mind and asking forgiveness. I am sorry I didn’t understand why you couldn’t take long car rides. I am sorry I didn’t truly grasp that even picking up five pounds brought you such pain. I am sorry I teased you about your walking pace. I am sorry I didn’t realize how pain could make you not want to see people and be unsociable.
I understand now that you knew people were judging you, and they had no idea what you were really experiencing. I am so sorry that I didn’t find a better way to comfort you of that pain. We never know what another is experiencing. The only correct action ever is kindness.
There are those deep in depression. Not the “things have sucked for a couple of weeks and I am depressed’ version, but the kind the takes root at your core and doesn’t seem to want to let you go. Telling these people to “look on the bright side”, “count your blessings”, “oh it can’t be that bad’, is one of the cruelest things you can do. No one wants to be genuinely depressed. If you truly want to be of service to them, shut up. Be there for them quietly. Listen and offer love only, no judgment.
Everyone grieves differently. Allow people to grieve in their own way, at their own pace. Again, to be of service, listen with love. If you seen an opportunity to physically be of service, take it. Small gentle actions propelled by love are the kindest give you can give.
My husband has truly been the poster child for “Act with kindness. Be only love”, as I have been derailed by this back situation. Not one moment of abandonment. Not one moment of judgment. Compassion flowing from his pores. He has been judged for his situation, and instead of being bitter, he has used it to make himself kinder. The mother of a friend of his was dying from brain cancer. It has been a very long road. His friend has made some work and life choices others were harshly putting through their own court system. Will continuously only said “It must be so hard for her to go through that”, and served the highest with small and gentle acts of connection and support. I am so blessed to be married to a man who comes from that place of compassion.
LESSON NUMBER THREE: Let’s face it, old adages get to be old because they are good. When I was a kid, my mom had a plaque that read:
“Before you criticize a man, walk a mile in his moccasins”
That could be the biggest lesson. My Mamas (maternal grandmother) often said and lots of folks in 12 Step Groups still say “But for the Grace of God, there go I”.
Our true purpose is to be kind and compassionate to each other. To cut each other slack. To remember that sometimes you must seek to see the invisible.
My most frequent prayer is ” Divine Mother – please let me see with your eyes, hear with your ears, speak your words. Let me be your arms, and share your love”
I hope you will take a moment to watch this video and sing with the King. May you always remember who you truly are, and have the eyes to see the same in others.
Other shares you might enjoy