Dance with Life.

By: Loolwa Khazzoom, Founder, Dancing with Pain

September 21st, 2010 • Living with Chronic PainPrint Print

Did you ever want to look up at the sky and go, “Dude. WTF?!”  Yeah. I hear ya.

I’ve flown down a flight of stairs and landed on my ass. I’ve been in three car collisions of varying degrees of intensity. I had two skull fractures in a single fall off a bicycle. A drunk guy pulled out my back while dancing with me at a nightclub. An art center director squashed my wrist while I interviewed her.

A dentist caused me TMJ. A chiropractor tore my rotator cuff. A massage therapist injured my ankle. A general practitioner splashed liquid nitrogen in my eye.

Need I continue?

There was a stretch where it seemed that every time I hoisted myself back out of the gutter, something else kicked my ass back in it again. In bed, out of bed. In bed, out of bed. I became afraid to leave my house. What next, I’d think.

Pop culture and acquaintances encouraged me to feel really, really shitty about the way things were going. As if those things defined me. As if something was wrong with me. As if the occurrences were my fault. As if making me feel like crap did a damn thing to help.

Late August was a shit month for me in many ways. My ear was damaged by the demolition and construction in the apartment beneath me. I was abruptly dislodged from my apartment because not only did that construction continue, but demolition in the apartment building next door began. My bike tires were slashed. My car door was kicked in and dented (to the point that rain drips inside the car now). A Mercedes backed into the front of my car (as I was walking away from it).

Sounds like bad luck?

How about the totaled car – frame smashed, windows shattered – that I saw on the side of the road, as I drove 400 miles from Los Angeles to Northern California. Did the passengers live? If a person gets one fatal blow, is that better luck because only one thing happened? In other words, which is worse: A million hits, and you keep on trucking, or one blow, and you’re down for the count?

What about all the homeless people, the people in abusive marriages, the people living under oppressive regimes, the people living in war-torn countries?

And what about all the people who never had anything “bad” happen to them but never had anything particularly good or interesting happen either? What about all the people living perfectly ordinary, pleasant lives who hate themselves and would slit their wrists, if only they had the courage? What about all the people who have never had the guts to say what they think? Whose dreams were never realized? Who are so dead internally that they do not even know how to dream?

There is a scourge of New Age psychobabble advising us that everything should go perfectly for us – as defined by a lack of pain and suffering – if only we have the right thoughts, if only we “listen to the Universe.” What a crock. What a control-freaky thing to say.

Look at the ocean on a stormy night. Watch a tornado rip through the plains. Feel an earthquake shaking and breaking everything in site. This is Life: Fierce. Bold. Wild. Arbitrary.

Seize it. Relish it. Ride it. Dance with it.



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