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Dealing with Pain

by Jo Wilkie

I have resisted writing about the ongoing, physical pain that I’ve dealt with (although I have, on occasion). Let’s face it, in our culture, pain, illness, and old-age are all pushed away and ignored. I know I have certainly been guilty of mentally and emotionally (even physically!) checking out from the reality of pain and suffering in those around me. But, the fact is, no-one escapes this life without illness, pain of some kind, or, at the very least, death. And, after a year and a half of learning to co-habitate with pain, I feel like I might be able to offer some hope, some practical ideas for living with chronic pain, or, at the least, someone might feel comfort in reading my story. So, however long it might take, I am going to share the full, unabridged story (as I remember it) and also the meandering path of healing that I have taken to arrive here, today.

Because today, I feel good. In fact, most days I feel good now. I feel pain, but, it doesn’t consume my thoughts in a panicky, “What is wrong with me make it go away” sort of way. To me, this is the essence of healing (quite different from “a cure”)- accepting life exactly as it is in the moment. This doesn’t mean giving up, this doesn’t mean not researching, asking questions, and looking for alternatives. This also doesn’t preclude hope and faith in a future that might be pain and illness-free. However, what it does mean is a shift in perception- to acceptance, and also to treating this companion of pain as just that- a companion capable of teaching important lessons and offering great blessings to life.

So stay tuned, if you are so inclined.

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