What have you been thinking a lot about this week?
I’ve been thinking about pain. Cause, well, I had to get 5 stitches and have had a black eye for a week now. It was the result of some not-so-great decision making that thankfully wasn’t worse (like a concussion).
I was training my oldest son, Evan, in our home gym and we were goofing off with the big exercise balls after he finished his set of chest presses. We thought it would be fun to run toward the other each holding a ball and see what happened… not only did the balls collide, but so did his chin off my eye bone.
It really didn’t hurt that bad and we were laughing our butts off at our stupidity and kept laughing all the way to urgent care. Things are going well with the healing, and I’m excited I got my stitches out yesterday.
This was a week of taking care of myself — icing, using calendula ointment, not wearing mascara, washing it gently. It all came pretty easily, as far as knowing what to do and following through on myself.
People would say, “oh my goodness what happened?” (yes, I felt chagrined even having to tell the story 😜) or “wow that must’ve hurt” (it actually never really hurt, except for one time when I dropped an exercise ball on my face at the gym… yes, that really happened lol).
I had an injury with obvious bruising on my face and it would sometimes get red and tender. I had to pay attention to it.
… but what about the wounds and injuries that are inside?
When our hearts get hurt…
do we know how to make the space for healing in the same way?
Do we give our “interior pain” the same kind of acknowledgement and attention?
I wish that it was easier to identify when the heart gets bruised. I wish it was more simple to face what hurts inside. I wish it was instinctive and allowed and encouraged to grieve and slow down, even for a moment when we’re knocked over by the exercise balls of life.
We ALL have so. many. feelings. So many emotions. We all have stories and trauma and stresses. And yet, we orbit around eachother’s pain and complain about things like traffic and the weather and being busy. Or perhaps fear sets in and we hold back and don’t know how to be vulnerable.
I have to admit, I have a hard time with the glossy stuff of society that bypasses the bruises.
I see you. I send you this invocation: May you be happy. May you be at peace. May you be filled with lovingkindness.
Here’s to letting that phrase land and having the desire to take care of yourself.
[pause here for a deep breath]
I believe strongly in active healing. Asking myself hard questions. Doing the “post mortem” and seeking understanding and growth so I can evolve. Because I don’t want to sit in my pain and swirl and loop and focus on failure.
I don’t want to spend time arguing for my limitations — meaning telling myself all the ways things are hard or why it’s not going to work out.
There is a difference between giving yourself time to heal, cope, grieve and process the difficult parts of life and being a victim or feeling sorry for yourself. They’re not the same thing.
Getting stronger mentally and physically requires similar dedication to self. One manifests itself as muscles and the other is emotional and spiritual resiliency.
Heart training, if you will.
My cut healed because I looked at my face in the mirror and did what needed to be done to help it get better.
I meditate and journal because I’m fully aware I still have growing and healing to do. Cause I’m human and life requires active healing.
What are the ways you could bring in active healing to your every day life?
It can seem like a few minutes of silence and breath is useless, but the cumulative effect is really powerful (just like putting on ointment everyday!😉).
And now, patience…
My scar is red and a bit raw right now. I feel impatient. The acute part is over and now is where I don’t really have as much control. I’m still going to take care of myself. But part of me wants to know what this is going to look like a year from now… how noticeable will it be? Will it become a thin line or be really obvious?
I’m accepting the ambiguity because thinking a lot about it isn’t going to change the outcome, so why focus on it?
As for pain, we can’t avoid it. Whether it’s big T trauma or little things here there or exercise balls (well maybe stay away from those!!). I don’t think life is about avoiding pain. I think it’s more useful to have a practice for coping, healing and heart training.
I’m also a huge advocate for asking for help. We hire accountants, mechanics, A/C people, etc. It’s highly useful and effective to work with someone else who has expertise as you’re actively healing and getting stronger… find the counselor, therapist, coach, trainer or group program that gets you out of inertia, teaches you new ways of being and doesn’t allow you to argue for your limitations.
One of the things I love about being a coach and a trainer is being a part of that healing and strengthening process with other people. My clients inspire me all the time and it’s so fulfilling.
So, maybe your pain isn’t so noticeable as 5 stitches on your eye (and I would never wish that for you!), and maybe you’re not dealing with a huge life struggle.
We also don’t need to create drama and pain where there isn’t any. It’s totally possible that all is well and you can enjoy and receive it. And honestly, life is probably both, not all pain and all joy!
But no matter what, I hope you come away feeling seen. I acknowledge your bruised heart. I applaud you for your resiliency. I send you my love for healing and strength. May you take care of yourself in ways that make you feel whole and settled, scars and all.