Rewiring My Life After 20 Years of Chronic Pain
Jul 11, 2019
I used to hate my body. From 6th grade until I was 30, I was in chronic pain. And because my body was still developing, it grew around the pain.
So did my brain. It wired itself around suffering. Consequently, my thoughts, choices, behavior, & identity all spawned from this epicenter.
Most people didn’t notice because I became a master at finding ways to overcome it. I learned how to suffer quietly, how to push through boldly, and how not to give up even after I felt like I couldn’t take another step without screaming. But I wasn’t doing those things out of an enlightened state of being, I was recklessly tormenting myself and punishing my body for what it was putting me through.
I’m not proud of the relationship I had with my body – for 30 years I cursed it. But I had to make peace with it. I began to understand it was my way of coping through some of the hardest times of my life. I saw how it forged by identity, helped me develop mental strength to overcome challenges and increased my capacity for harboring difficulty. I saw how the struggles helped me compost my experiences...but there was still a lot of work to do.
There was still all the undoing.
For the last 6 years, I healed my chronic pain through spinal decompression therapy, yoga, and changing my diet.
First I had to get honest with myself that the way I perceived the world – my lens to interpret all of my experiences – was based on an injury that occurred in 6th grade. Without judgment, and being open to change, I had to accept the possibility that perhaps the way I was living my life wasn’t the optimal one and that by perceiving the world through a different lens, I might have an entirely different experience.
I recognize the fact that many people never get this chance. Healing from 20 years of chronic pain gave me the permission to start over – much like someone having a near death experience and then realizing how sacred life is and changing their lifestyle.
I’m here to tell you that you don’t need something extreme to happen for you to be open to the idea of zooming out, being open to perceiving life a little differently, and trying on different lenses.
You can dig into your past and ask yourself what old patterns are still controlling you. Maybe something traumatic that happened in 8th grade shaped you and you’re still enslaved by the image it created about yourself today. Maybe being cheated on 15 years ago is still affecting your trust in others.
Whatever it is, you have the ability to choose to step out of your patterned ways of being and consciously decide your becoming.