The Source of the Pain

I’m about to make the world’s most obvious observation: Sometimes, it seems, that pain is meant to force us out of a situation we aren’t supposed to be in—to push us into finally looking at other options—and, sometimes, to draw attention to the bigger causes of pain, rather than the immediate trigger.

Earth-shattering, right? Bare with me here, I promise I’m going somewhere with this.

Today I find myself in a tremendous amount of pain. I’m not talking about being emotionally wounded…this is intense physical pain I am enduring. It is persistent and radiates from my neck, through my shoulders and upper back and down through both of my arms.

After having endured this for the past week or two, I finally broke down and went to get a massage last night, hoping it would relieve some of the tension in my muscles, causing this pain. The poor therapist seemed stunned after taking a first pass at my back to see where the source of the pain might be. You see, I am riddled with knots through my shoulders, under my shoulder blades and down my spine. She worked for an hour straight, trying to smooth them out, but by the end of it, she cried uncle. It just couldn’t get worked out in one session, and I couldn’t endure the intense massage any longer. We were at a standstill. So I got dressed and slinked out of the room wondering if I could actually feel worse than I did before I went in.  The worst of it is, I don’t know how this happened…how did it get this bad before I finally tried, in vain, to try to do something about it?

So here I sit, wishing I had a magic pill that would make it go away, but realizing, the source of my pain is bigger than just stress alone. Perhaps the source feeding this ache is that I’ve been in this place of limbo for years now, hoping I would eventually settle into this place on the path I’ve somehow fallen into, and at some point, start loving it. But I think the pain is there for a reason. I think it’s working to force me to look at other options. And that’s not a bad thing.

photos by Lily M. A. Parminter and Noah

1 Comment

  1. Leslie B

    Very thought provoking entry… I think I may need to read it again…
    However, take the damn pill! :) Love you!

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