By Kathleen Aharoni
I would like to address your so-misunderstood and overlooked sensation of pain. Before I do, though, I’d like to clarify who I am. I am not just (as in only) a body, such as those hollow, plastic ones of your Barbie and Ken dolls, adorned and controlled by outside forces.
I am what it means to be human—feeling, thinking, dreaming, moving, wondrous, creative, vast. American Heritage Dictionary refers to me, the body, as “the entire material structure and substance of an organism.”
Yes! I am amazing—bones, tissues, organs, emotions, thoughts and the potent unity of mind, heart, body, spirit, soul. I am truly a body of wonder, an awakening giant. I am capable of more than what presently can be imagined and, yet, satisfied, to be just (as in significantly so) cherished, celebrated, honored, nurtured, explored, pleasured and, yes, adorned.
I enjoy receiving such laudings from others. And, it is crucially vital that these and other loving affections be sourced deeply, richly and continuously by internal forces. By internal forces, I mean the body of you (which is me).
We, you and me, are a brilliant creation of human body and humanity. We are the embodiment of union.
So what does this have to do with pain?
I am, in the sum of all my vast parts, always, always, always on your side. Pain is my loving alert signal to you that something is amiss. I send this signal, on your behalf to remind you, like your car’s dashboard lights, that it is time to check in, first and foremost, with you and perhaps also with professionals to discover what is out of sorts and how to reach optimal performance.
Pain can indicate a mechanical breakdown such as a skeletal misalignment, perhaps from improper body mechanics. Pain can indicate the need to rest (for a myriad of reasons including overscheduled, overused, injured or overwhelmed).
Emotional pain? Yes, that message is from me, too.
Again, I am a compassionate indicator that something needs to change. Perhaps, you are feeling unseen, unloved or unvalued. Alert! These are each qualities we humans need to thrive. If you are not seeing, loving and valuing your self by making choices that support your flourishing, I’m going to remind you, always gently at first, that a shift in thinking and action is advisable.
If you feel pain, it is not a punishment or an indicator that someone else in your life needs to change for you to be well. Every opportunity in your life, including pain, is an opportunity for you to know your self better, and to make choices that love and forward your dreaming of you. For instance, if you are overwhelmed and feeling anxiety, migraines, a spastic bowel or muscular tension, you may be tempted to blame your partner, colleagues or friends for not relieving you of more duties, not being more affectionate or not taking better care of you.
If you examine your ways of thinking and acting, you may discover that simple decisions or changes in perspective can offer you increased equilibrium and freedom. When you positively take charge of your life, the body of you will thrill knowing that you are seeing, loving and valuing it by caring for you.
And, yes, if you don’t listen to my gentle nudges, my signals will get louder and more incessant. I will not forsake you. Please do not forsake your self.
I exist for our well-being. When I signal you, stand still. Be present long enough to listen to the wise body of you and make adjustments that encourage, support, love and embrace your forward movement. Be sure, in addition to thinking and feeling, that you activate your choosings.
When we are both on the same side, unified in our movement, well… this is when true freedom rises. And, with true freedom comes ecstatic, pain-free thriving.
Cheers to our blissful union,
The Body of You
Kathleen Aharoni is a movement and life coach, speaker, workshop leader and author of the book I breathe my own breath!, illustrated by Ann Boyd. She has served on the faculties of Northwestern University and Columbia College, Chicago. Contact Kathleen at email@example.com.
Originally published in the Fall 2015 print edition.
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