Emotional Obstacles to Natural Pain Relief

By: Loolwa Khazzoom, Founder, Dancing with Pain

April 25th, 2008 • Mind-Body MedicinePrint Print

This morning I woke up thinking about emotional obstacles to natural pain relief. Why, I wondered, haven’t I successfully been utilizing my bag o’ tricks for healing? Namely…

  • converting pain energy into raw energy, converting that raw energy into healing energy, then feeding that healing energy back into the place of pain – thus recycling pain to heal itself
  • facilitating energetic communication (affirmations of strength and instructions for healing) between the parts of my body that have recovered from trauma and those still struggling with recovery
  • dancing every morning in my living room – actively utilizing the Dancing with Pain® methodology
  • singing from, exercising from, and otherwise channeling my pain – utilizing it as a source of power, and through that process, softening and transforming it
  • actively absorbing and integrating healing energy from grass, sun, animals, flowers, people, and other life forces I encounter each day

I’ve healed myself through these means before. Repeatedly. So what’s been stopping me lately?

My primal energy, I reflected, recently has been sapped by a sense of hopelessness and despair around, shall we say, certain dynamics beyond my control. I have done everything in my power to facilitate healing in said dynamics, but ultimately, there is only so much I can do.

There comes a point where I have to let go – of people, expectations, hopes. The thing is, recognizing that I’ve done everything I can do still does not bring me peace. I feel grief, sadness, longing, depression.

I’ve always been a visionary – someone who can see beyond what is, to what is possible. That means that even when someone is acting like a total shit, I can see that person’s potential. I can see that person’s essence – the loving Creator force inside her or him. I can still feel love for that person, with my entire being.

The contradiction between that love/potential and the reality of the situation feels…Deflating. Overwhelmingly sad. Paralyzing.

My mom tells me that when I was a little girl, and something happened that really disturbed me, I would jump up and down, yelling in frustration, “But I didn’t want it to happen!”

G-d grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. (Reinhold Niebuhr)

In addition to noticing that I haven’t actively been utilizing my healing tools, I’ve also noticed that I’ve been kind of “spinning” again:

  • waking up feeling the pain in my body
  • remembering the direct or indirect medical negligence that led to my condition
  • feeling powerless over what’s been done to my body and, therefore, my life
  • feeling grief about what I’ve lost as a result (simple pleasures, physical power, financial stability…)

This reversion to spinning, coupled with this resistance to implementing my healing tools, got me to pondering a certain aspect of the mind-body connection:

When I feel loved, cared for, listened to, and supported, I feel a sense of positivity that in turn gives me Bionic Woman-style superpowers to rebuild myself. (Yes we have the technology.)

When I feel attacked instead of cared for, however, and when my energy is otherwise depleted, I feel I’ve got no juice left to heal myself.

What’s more, some part of me ends up not wanting to heal myself. Wanting instead to wear my pain like a battle scar. Wanting whoever is busy hurting me to sit up and take notice of what they’re doing.

Mind you, it’s a different ballgame than emotional distress causing pain (though that can happen too). In this case, emotional distress is getting in the way of my healing pain.

This observation, of course, gets into a whole ball of wax about how to approach patient empowerment from a positive, loving orientation, without falling into the trap of patient accusation and blame. And it also gets into the whole sordid history of doctors who actively have interfered with my healing process.

But more about that another time, shall we?

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