Being alive has it’s own hazards and happinesses. Pain – physical, mental, emotional – is one of those undesirable yet unavoidable hazards of living. We all experience it and yet many athletes & non-athletes seem to live with it on a daily basis. In an interview last week after the first round of Decathlon competition, 2012 Olympic Silver Medalist & US Decathlete Trey Hardee (@treyhardee) from Birmingham said that he’s been injured since 2003 but that’s normal and he was feeling good about his performance so far. Pain-free is rarely the norm of athletes and even non-athletes of today.
I was reminded of my own journey of pain & healing (repeat) this week when I woke up with a stiff neck and shoulder. A pain that plagued me from my 25th birthday until last year when I started seeing Dr. Lou Ann Hedden, a amazingly gifted chiropractor in Hoover. Over the past year the pains left and the strength increased. I went from 3 visits/week to 1 visit/month over the past year. Then on July 6, 2012, she suddenly died. The past 5 weeks have felt like forever and yet I haven’t “needed” anything except moral support. With the re-surfacing of this “old painful friend,” I am reminded of how much pain I used to be in and how much relief I have experienced the past year.
Now the turning point, I need a doctor again & have a few names from people I trust. But I feel disloyal, as if she were still here and her death was just a joke, a mistake. The therapist in me knows this is the DENIAL stage of grief and there is no way around it except through it. So I cry in sadness and in deep, heartfelt gratitude for how she helped me, then I pick up the phone and call Dr. Ellen Witt to begin a new journey with her and continue on the healing journey I have been on for years.
When the pain comes, let it come in. And here the words of Rumi…..
Every morning a new arrival.
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.
Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.