Do you hear your own pain beyond the physical pain?
Last week in Please Hear My Pain Pt 1, I talked about the need to feel heard and how other people couldn’t understand our experience. This week, we are going to explore a deeper level of hearing your own pain.
Is your body talking to you?
The body holds an intelligence of its own, separate from your mind. When the body is in pain, it is trying to tell us something. For those of us with fibromyalgia, the body is literally screaming at us. It may have something to say that we are not hearing. This does not mean we do not support the body on a physical level. It means that we take into consideration our body’s input when making decisions about our health.
Your body is a valuable resource
Often in the experience with fibromyalgia, we think of the body as the enemy. The body has betrayed us. What if the opposite is true? What if your body is your friend? What if your body is trying to guide you to improved health? What if your body and inner knowing is trying to guide you to discovering a happier, healthier, more fulfilling life experience?
Are you listening?
Are you listening to your body? Can you hear what your body is trying to tell you? So often, when we feel pain, we look outside of ourselves for the solution. In today’s society, we are conditioned to do that. The doctor or alternative health practitioner is the expert on our illness. We look to them for answers. We don’t understand that if we learned to listen to our body and understand what it is telling us, that we could unravel our own pain. We don’t know that we are the expert on our own body and that our body is the expert on our health.
After a doctors appointment where I felt dismissed and misunderstood, I realized that in 15 minutes I was trying to convey how I felt. I was with my body 24/7. I was very intimate with my own body. It wasn’t possible for me to communicate the depth of my experience with anyone else or for them to understand it.
At the time, I wasn’t sure what to do with this. As I began to take more responsibility for my health and make my own decisions, I realized that I knew my body best and needed to be proactive about my health choices.
How can we understand what our body is trying to tell us?
The body speaks through the vehicle of sensation. We can learn to communicate with our body. By being present with the sensations/pain, we can begin to tap into the underlying wisdom of the body. The first step is to learn to be present with your body. Here are some steps that you can use:
- Turn off music, phones, television and put a do not disturb sign on the door.
- Get yourself in a comfortable lying position on a firm surface.
- Slow down and deepen your breath.
- Begin to feel the weight of your body against the surface you are lying on.
- As you breathe, focus on letting your body soften into the support of the surface.
- Do this for several moments.
- As the body relaxes, take time to be present with the sensations / pain in your body.
- Notice the tendency to recoil from the pain/sensation or drift into thinking.
- When you notice this, focus on your breath and invite your body and mind to relax.
- Breathe in deeply and exhale with a sigh.
- Allow yourself to be present with the sensation.
- Repeat steps 7 through 11 until you can feel more comfortable with the pain/sensation.
As you remain present with the sensation, begin to explore it. Here are some questions you can ask to go deeper:
- Where is the strongest sensation?
- Is there a color, shape or texture to the sensation?
- Notice if you feel an emotion. If so, allow yourself to feel the emotion.
- Ask the sensation if it has a message for you or is trying to tell you something.
- Notice the conversation that comes into your mind. What are you thinking about?
- Be aware of pictures or images that arise.
This process will begin to open the communication with your body. Sometimes tension will release just by being present with it. As you work with this, you can begin to create a healthy, loving, harmonious relationship with your body. This is a first step in reconnecting with your inner wisdom.
Take some time this week to explore connecting with your body. Take 15 minutes a day to spend focused on your body. It will help you repair your relationship with your body. Your body needs to be your ally rather than your enemy. It wants to be healthy. It wants you to be happy and fulfilled.
Next week, I will talk more about listening to the body and hearing your own pain.
May you and your body become friends, Bindu