Being a Yogi has enormous benefits when it comes to being embodied and being in pain.
I haven’t wanted to talk about my pain, pain which has been constant. I remember so many times when my teacher Desiree would ask me about it and her question was “are you just in constant pain?” and I would just shake my head acknowledge that I was in fact, in “constant pain” and then I would offer some love and move onto something else. Pre-surgical pain and post-surgical pain are two very different landscapes.
When I was heading in for my second surgery on the first hip three months ago, my surgeon told me I was going to have to be on crutches for at least four weeks. I scoffed at him and said, “They told me that the last time and I was on them for two days!” He became very firm with me and said, “No Jill, you are going to HAVE TO be on the crutches for the duration this time.” That duration turned out to be eight weeks. My body told me every step of the way what was needed.
My surgeon did not know what to expect when he went in and consequently, he was quite startled by the repairs he had to fashion for my hip. He had to construct me a brand new labrum and anchor it back with titanium. He cleaned up the resection of the acetabulum and the arthritis that was there, and while there, removed cartilage. He had to break my hip capsule and reset and re-suture that back together and then he had to shave a bone spur that was the size of my fist which resided on the head of my femur bone. Subsequently, I was not permitted to be fully weight bearing on my leg for eight weeks.
It’s all beginning all over again right now, although I have not graduated to the crutches as of yet due to a few shall we say “extra happenings” I endured while in surgery. But what I know and what I knew from the first time around is that my body is telling me everything I need to do every step of the way.
Just moments ago, I went to feed my puppy and as I reached down to give him his food,
I turned my left adductor about one half an inch to the left. It wasn’t exactly the action of thighs out, because this action had a slight turn to it. It was the turn that made me feel a pain that made me nearly fall over. It was the slightest movement, barely perceptible to the human eye. But my body knew it was not ready for such a movement. Was I angry about it? No. I felt only compassion. I also felt gratitude that I have enough body awareness to inform me not to move the adductor externally because now I know that doing so will make me turn completely white and nearly pass out from the pain.
On day one, last week, my pain was at a 900. Day two, it shot down to an 8. It’s leveled there. Ice is my very good friend. I have been encouraged to take meds for the pain, but they didn’t help when I was at a 900. So it’s not that I’m trying to be a hero about it, the truth is, the meds just don’t help me. And while they may work for some people, they don’t seem to help me.
So, am I glad I get to feel all of this *&^%$#@#$%^?><>?><*&^%$??? No. But lately I keep telling myself something personal which has been working for my heart.
I was in between my two surgeries and I was feeling a pain in my heart I had not felt in many years. Deep feelings of loss and grief which I work diligently, unwaveringly, with great skill and attention to try to HEAL on an ongoing and consistent basis. The thought I had was, “What if I turn this pain into LOVE?”
Did it work?
It is a work in progress. It is a lifestyle. Healing. Forgiveness. Mending. Healing from trauma. Even healing bone. These are practices that take our love and our attention. Our compassion. Our forgiveness.
I am even asking my own body for forgiveness. It may sound like something few can relate to. But when I felt into this, the grief which poured out of me, and the love that I was able to pour back in, was astounding. And real.
Is it healed? No. But I believe I am on the right trajectory towards healing pain. I don’t want to identify with this pain. I don’t want it to identify me. And I don’t want to carry it.
It is fantastic to be attuned to it. To name it so I can hopefully clear it. Because clearing it is the action I seek.
May I live in a body that will be free of pain.
May I live in a heart that is abundant with love.
May I always know forgiveness. How to live it. Offer it. Receive it.
May I heal the wounds which keep me tied only to a body because
so much more.
May I offer these blessings in love. In peace. In humility.