The Upside of Physical Pain

Do you believe it is possible that physical pain could provide you with any benefits?

This may seem like a trick question at first. It’s not. I really want to know what you think and what you believe.

Sure, some physical pains might make you want to see your doctor, so they can diagnose your condition and offer you some appropriate remedies. Remedies that help you recover from the physical pain before it becomes a more significant problem. But what about all the lesser pains, the ones you’re tempted to ignore or try to cover over? Is there possibly a message in any of them for you? And if so, how do you discover what the messages are?

I feel as though one of my approaches to this dilemma is somewhat unique. I haven’t talked about it a lot, so I don’t know if others do something similar.

Let me explain and you can see for yourself and then decide if it might make sense for you to try.

Many years ago, I had an insight that there are several different aspects within me, and they each have a voice. The aspects are physical, emotional, mental, spiritual and ego. I found it possible to isolate their individual points of view and was able to listen to their individual voices. I was also able to moderate their conversations so that I could gain firsthand insights.

As with so many things, it’s much better to share an example, rather than continue to try to explain how it works.

Recently the moderator (‘me’) began by saying that it was very difficult to trust my body because when aches and pains started to arrive, I felt betrayed by my body, especially if I’d done all of the things that my cultural trainers had told me to do (exercise, eat healthy, stay hydrated…you get the picture).

My physical ‘self’ responded immediately by saying, “It’s a curious thing that you should feel betrayed, because it is you who stopped caring about me and just assumed I would provide you with constant good health.”

It continued, “The choices you make have a profound impact on my ability to maintain good health. You’ve done some of the things your cultural trainers have recommended but you have ignored the most potent and important ally you have…ME. I ought to be the first one contacted to discuss any physical issues.”

I felt reprimanded by my physical voice.

I also heard the truth.

This IS what I have done throughout most of my life. For as long as I can remember, I have expected my body to maintain my health no matter what the circumstance. And when I get sick, am injured, or need medical attention, I feel my body has let me down.

So here is my physical ‘self’ speaking to me about ‘my’ being a large part of the problem. And I realize that I have allowed the pain I encounter to be blamed on my physical ‘self’, which clearly creates additional problems.

The conversation takes a dramatic turn when my physical body poses a question to me, “When was the last time you asked me what I need?”

I have no good answer. I haven’t been paying attention. I’m feeling apologetic and I want to know how to fix this.

My physical ‘self’ responds. “Trust is a two-way street. We both have to trust the other. We have to listen and then take action.”

I think I’m ready for this. I wonder if the presence of physical pain in my life is an attempt to grab my attention, like waving a big red flag, one I can’t possibly miss. I wonder if continuing this conversation will yield clarity and direction. That would certainly create an upside for me.

As with all things, it matters most what you ‘do’. I could continue to ignore my physical ‘self’ and assume it will provide constant good health or I can listen for the truth and take whatever actions it suggests.

I want clarity and I want a relationship with my physical ‘self’, so I am going to shift and pay better attention. I am going to check in with my body, both when I feel well and when I sense a need for healing.

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