This won’t be my usual blog because I’ve had an unusual week. Due to an aching back I have not spent the time that I usually do sitting at my desk and writing.
I’ve dealt with a backache for over a week. It got better last Sunday when I was out motorcycling, and Monday I felt good enough to make a trip to the store and to get a pedicure. I figured my back was better and all was well.
While in the kitchen on Tuesday morning, I leaned down to get something and must have turned the wrong way, because I felt a searing pain in my back again. For the rest of last week, the pain got better, then worse, then better, then worse. So I spent the better part of my uneventful week, taking it easy and just being quiet so my back could heal.
Every morning last week I massaged Tiger Balm into my back, then I’d spend the next half-hour to hour meditating and reading while leaning against a heating pad. With Paul acting as my sous chef, I prepared a meal on Wednesday, and that was the extent of my activities for the week.
I seldom have back pain because I practice gentle stretching, at least three-four times every day. What happened to even create this pain is beyond me, all I do know is that it presented me with a good opportunity to stay conscious, while I took care of myself.
What I would normally do in a situation like this is make the backache wrong. For most of my life, I bought the fallacy that I didn’t have time to get sick, because I had too many things to do. Being driven to clean my house, do my laundry, sit at my desk for hours writing, take my daily walk, garden, and the list could go on and on, obscures my vision of what really mattered in life.
I spent most of Tuesday being angry at my back, because it was keeping me from doing the things I needed and wanted to do. I tried ignoring the pain, breathing light into it, and gently stretching my back. I finally came to my senses, and as I saw how much meaning I attached to what I do, I also saw the insanity of fighting what is present in my life. When that happened, I decided to quit trying to bring my body into submission, stop making the backache wrong, and just be present to the process.
For the rest of the week I was quiet and I let it run its course. I practiced moving gingerly and slowly, and I nurtured myself. I cancelled my weekend plans to visit my son and daughter-in-law, and I just laid low and rested my body. I refused to let myself do anything that would bring more trauma to my back.
I’m still feeling a slight twinge, but it’s better than last week. I want to get up and get back on the wheel of life, but my spirit is telling me to stay quiet a little while longer. So, I’m going to stay put today and start back slowly tomorrow.
This has been a positive experience for two reasons:
1. I see how easy it is for me to fall into the trap of thinking I need to fight what is, because it doesn’t suit my agenda.
2. I’m clear that it’s safe to bring awareness to any kind of pain, and be fully present to the experience.