Things hurt this morning. I decided that I really needed to do something good for myself and get out there and walk. And things hurt this morning. Many things. There’s a cramp in my left calf that keeps coming back and is tender in between cramps. My back is not happy. My left shoulder and arm turned against me weeks ago and they don’t seem interested in reversing the position that every wrong move of my arm and/or too much time at the computer shall equal pain. Yes, things hurt.
So, today I’ll get back out there and walk some more, on the theory that I can walk out this pain. Maybe I’ll just have more pain – who knows? All I know is that I’m not giving up. I want to feel better – and if feeling worse for a while is the way to get there, I guess I’ll just do it.
I know that in a few days I’ll see different (lower) numbers on the scale, the blood pressure meter and the blood sugar level – three sets of numbers that are getting to be common among us “upper midlife” folks. I’ll be able to measure these changes and rejoice in the results. I’ll be able to walk faster and farther. My clothes will fit better. I’ll be stronger.
I’m working through a lot of other changes that probably aren’t going to be as obvious from the outside. I’m working on letting go of a couple of tons of old garbage, misconceptions, negative thinking, and limiting beliefs. And that hurts too. Breaking up is hard to do – especially, it turns out, when you’re breaking up with a way of thinking and being that no longer serves you.
I’ve been reading and journaling and writing forgiveness letters. I’ve been rereading Martha Beck and Abraham-Hicks. Wayne Dyer and Deepak Choprah echo in my ears as I commute. My Buddhist practice supports and frames all of this. Affirmations and reminders fill my workspace. Really, all these sources say the same thing, each in a slightly different way. They all show different ways to do a few things that look oh so simple on paper:
- Live in the present
- Know what you want and ask for it
- Be receptive
- Be mindful
- Love yourself
What a nice, short list. Â How easy to read it. Harder to achieve it and live it, though.
So, I struggle. And get support from my two excellent coaches and my wonderful friends. And struggle. And cry. And keep at it.
It hurts. Change isn’t easy, whether it’s your body or your spirit. I measure this change too, although the measures are more subtle. I measure it in moments when I know exactly who I am, in days when I am at peace, in acts of kindness – given and accepted. I measure it in what I no longer need. I measure it in days when I see clearly what thinking does and does not serve me.
This is from an Osho Zen Tarot card that gives me hope:
The pain is not to make you sad, remember. That’s where people go on missing …. This pain is just to make you more alert – because people become alert only when the arrow goes deep into their heart and wounds them. Otherwise they don’t become alert. … The arrow is hurting: it can be used.
The pain is not to make you miserable, the pain is to make you more aware! And when you are aware, misery disappears.