I wasn't going to write anything today, but I found myself in front of an empty blog post page, and the title that popped into my head was 'thinking about pain', and so I followed it.
Yesterday morning I woke up around 2:30am in pain and discomfort. I spent much of that morning in my family room, alone, drinking tea, watching television, and trying to calm the pain responses in my body so I could go back to bed. I wasn't angry or upset, I was just tired.
And then, when I woke up later that morning, I pushed myself through the process of getting ready because I wanted so badly to go to a Save the Children book sale with Xin. On the way there, the pain in my stomach returned and got worse and worse, until I started to feel a little faint. All of these things have happened before, but I try to take a different approach to them these days, if I am feeling strong enough.
Yesterday, instead of moving around, shifting and shaking to try and rid myself of the pain, I sat still in the passenger seat of Xin's car. I quietly told him what was happening, and then I closed my eyes and leaned my head back. And then I focused on my breath. I focused on the texture of the chair underneath my hand. I tried to take my attention away from the pain - it was going to be there regardless of whether I paid attention to it or not - and tried to focus on other things.
I'm not a terribly zen person a lot of the time, but I try to be. And I'm not going to say that breathing through the pain made it go away, or made me feel more at peace with the world. I still felt upset, frustrated, and scared. But just that mere action of trying to focus on my breath instead of on the emotions or the pain made me feel just a little more in control, just a little more capable. Because often the worst thing pain does to me is take away who I am - it strips me of my control, warps my personality, and makes me feel other to what I am.
I am not always strong enough to do this, but I still try. Because my breath is the one thing I have some link to, even when I feel like I might pass out. I think sometimes people forget to breathe properly, and that can make situations ten times worse. Sometimes taking a deep breath or two can help to change things, just a little.
Love to all who read my ramblings!