Sunday, May 30, 2010

Pebble in the Shoe

I am definitely of the "Ignore/Shake it off and keep moving" belief when it comes to pain. I am in no way saying this is the wisest of ways to approach pain, I am simply stating this is my way. Today I received a metaphor to help me maybe rethink this approach. I went on a lovely early morning walk today and as I was walking a noticed a pebble somehow worked it's way into my shoe. I had already achieved my stride and had no intention of breaking it for a dumb little pebble, so on I went. It hurt a bit but I continued to ignore it. Finally, it shifted it's way around the shoe and I could no longer feel it. I thought to myself, "Is this what I do? Do I ignore my pain till somehow it works it's way somewhere into the depths of my heart, to be felt no more." I continued on my walk and meditated on this. I wondered at the reality of my pain and of pain in general. I thought about my ridiculously high pain threshold, proven in my ability to endure excruciating gall bladder pain and almost getting pancreatitis in the process, and how this almost killed me.

Why do I ignore pain? It doesn't make it go away, but it does allow me to keep moving...albeit a bit slower.

I just did not want to stop. Stopping is for wimps. Stopping is for whiners. Stopping is for people who aren't tough enough, cry babies, wooses, losers.

Stopping is for healing.

I realized my thoughts and all of a sudden from my heart came a wordless tune. Mournful and sad it flowed effortlessly from my mouth and I lifted my face to the sky. I noticed the pebble, as it now had worked it's way around in my shoe to the tender part of the arch of my foot. It hurt. This time...well, I kept on walking. I slowed down, continued singing and felt the pebble. It hurt. I felt the pain. I still did not remove it, but this time it was for a different purpose, to feel, not ignore. Very soon the pebble moved again, and I continued walking, thankful for the lesson and the metaphor.

When I arrived home, I slipped off my shoes looking to find the small pebble that had taught me my great lesson. I flipped the shoe, shook it a bit and found, nothing. It was gone. I realized a great lesson again. Allowing myself to feel the pain, acknowledging it, and slowing down seemed to allow the pebble to make it's way out. I also realized though that this will not always be the case. Sometimes I will simply need to stop what I am doing and take the damn pebble out of my shoe.


Chris said...

WOW, great blog!