59/300: Just Breathe

I’m hurting. My shoulder had been a little sore and that little sore has ballooned into distracting, keep me up all night, make it hard to focus pain. I feel it when I move. I feel it when I’m still. I feel it when I breathe. Something has to be done, but I can’t get in to see the doctor until later tonight and I have things to do.

So I breathe. It’s all I can do.

I’m not writing this for sympathy or empathy. I’m writing it – on my phone since sitting at the keyboard makes it worse- because we all experience pain. Physical. Mental. Emotional. Spiritual. Pain comes in many forms and from every imaginable direction. Pain is, often, a cornerstone of life.

I’ve always had a pretty high tolerance for pain. In most cases, I’m pretty tough. It’s not some sort of bloated image of stoic masculinity that leans me toward enduring, and I’m not the kind of person who is aroused by pain. But I tend to be the kind of person that plays through, that finds ways to manage instead of stopping my life for pain.

But there are times when even the toughest must relent, when even the hardest, most calloused hero can’t take it anymore. And in those moments, we must all do the same thing- breathe. Stop, take a breath, feel the pain and shut out the rest of the world.

What happens when I breathe is I understand the pain. I become fully aware of it and, in so doing, I eliminate the part of pain we most want to avoid- the adjoining fear. 

Pain ignored is fear amplified. If you try to ignore emotional pain, fear blossoms. If you ignore physical pain, you can’t help but allow fear to influence you. But if you acknowledge pain, whatever form it is in, you discover survival, you realize that the pain is manageable and the fear does not need to rule you.

I can’t write much more. It’s getting too hard to hold the phone. But when I’m done, I won’t try to pretend the pain doesn’t exist, I won’t let my mind wander to all the things it might be. Instead, I’m going to breathe, focus on the pain and focus on overcoming it.

 Sent from my iPhone

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