Lessons from COVID

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Lessons from COVID

 Last Sunday, I felt a little tired so I took a nap and I woke up with a temperature of 102.4 F and a migraine. I did what most people do when they feel awful: complain, try to find ways to make it go away, and dream about better days.

After a couple of hours of attending my own pity party, I realized what I was doing. I was resisting my experience. 

Did you know that some research has shown that as much as 80% of our pain and discomfort can be caused by our own resistance? That resistance can present itself physically as severe muscle tension, exaggerated symptoms, guarding, and so much more. If it's emotional pain, we may start to make it worse through casting blame, wishing things were different than they are, feeling regret or anger, etc. 

But accepting pain is scary, isn't it? For some reason, we think that if we accept it, then we are opening the flood gates to pain, but this isn't true. It's actually the opposite. 

Relaxing Into The Pain

I took a deep breath and I relaxed into the pain and gave up my desire to control it. At that moment, I felt the tension in my back and shoulders which I was completely unaware of moments before. I breathed into it and just started to notice the tension. Guess what happened? It started to let go. 

My attention shifted to my migraine. It felt like I was being stabbed by a thousand tiny knives. I felt nauseous and light/noise hurt my head. As I breathed and just softened to my experience, I began to feel the sharp edges of my headache disappear. It didn't completely go away, but it wasn't so harsh and I could finally go to sleep. 

The fever, headache, and body aches persisted for about 24 hours. During that time, I continued my practice of awareness and softening into the pain which allowed me to better rest, release stuck energy, and to lessen my own discomfort. 

COVID Lessons: Impermanence, control, and suffering

As strange as it sounds, my illness became something interesting as I watched how it changed from moment to moment. It was constantly in flux, it never stayed the same, it was never anchored into anything permanent. It helped me to see that this discomfort will pass -- not in a week or two, but in a few seconds, it will have shifted into something else. 

What I learned was that we aren't in control of if we have pain. Pain is part of life. We get sick, we fall down, people hurt us, we lose our jobs, we lose people we love, etc. These things sometimes happen and there is nothing we can do to change it. But we are in control of how much we suffer due to our pain. By accepting the pain and sitting with it, we can soften to the experience, letting that energy pass through us. When we fight with the pain, we hold onto that energy and we can experience all kinds of suffering because of it. 

The pain isn't optional, but the suffering is.

What do you think?

I'd love to hear your point of view. Please head over to our Facebook Group to share your thoughts. All ideas are welcome. 

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