When I'm sick, and I do get sick at times, I listen to the message that the sickness brings. In being sick it forces me to review my habits, my relationships, my goals, my direction in life and my living philosophy. It forces me to keep pitching and tossing from my life what isn't going to work in my future. As I get older, a bout of sickness usually sends me the signal that I can't move off the path of health at all really or things don't go my way. I also look over my life path and my relationships to review if any hidden stressors are in there somewhere, something that needs weeding out.
Sickness isn't a goblin and neither is pain. Pain helps us survive. It always has. Fire burns, broken glass can cut, poisoned food takes us down...….these are all various forms of pain that help us survive and help move in the direction where we need to go in life. Can you imagine not being able to feel that fire burns? How is that going to help us survive? Can you imagine a society that wants to turn off any and all forms of pain because they don't see the value in how pain helps us make better decisions.
Safe zones at Universities (which feminize men and make women afraid of everyday situations), passing kids at school when they deserve to fail, eliminating failing grades at public schools and every medication under the sun (for every form of pain) shows us exactly how pain adverse our culture really has become. Even today, no one wants to really confront the evil erupting out of government or media because it may cause them just a little personally pain, to even ponder the thought. (let alone take action) As our society avoids pain as Olympic sport and paints pain as a goblin (to be avoided at all costs) we remove the innate intelligence of our natural GPS system that guides us through pain to better decisions. I know people who are depressed because they work jobs they don't like, live lives they don't like, they use their mouths as garbage compactors....and then they just take a pill (with extra depression as a listed side effect) in order to get right back into the life that they don't like. It's all wretch and no vomit....it never gets there. That's what happens when you don't honor pain or understand what pain is for.
So as sickness found me for a brief period recently, I knew the benefit of that pain and although I resisted at first, I simply let that pain finally wash over me. I tossed and I turned. I soaked a couple changes of clothes right through. I moaned and I groaned in pain. And then I just asked, "what's the message pain teacher?" The pain teacher said, "these are the shitty aspects of your life. This is where you're being a complete idiot and if you don't change them, you're going to stay sick and you won't improve too much before I visit you again and put a more savage beating on you for ignoring what you need to do." I replied, "change is scary. I'm a self sabotage coach. I know that more than anyone else. I don't want to change that much. I don't know where that path of change goes. I need predictability and what's common in order to feel safe." And the pain teacher said "well, then you only get more pain by avoiding your pain." It was a long process of many days until I worked my way out of the conversation with the pain teacher. I honored the pain and made the changes, exchanging long term positive outcomes for short term pain avoidance. That means, "things suck today but are guaranteed to get better as the days go by." That's the result we're all looking for.
My friend also got sick. He took an Advil and got back to the life that was killing him. He didn't miss a beat. And that's North America in a nutshell. Many are too busy living lives they don't like in order to stop and learn from the pain teacher...…..regarding what it takes to build a life they do like. Stop sedating and tranquilizing to your pain. Listen to the message and then change directions. I did it. You can to. I believe in you.
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