Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Pain

Before I begin, I know it's been too long.  Since my last post I participated and completed the Susan G. Komen 3-Day.  It was a remarkable experience about which I will write in my next post.

Pain Noun:  Physical suffering or discomfort caused by illness or injury.

Today, I burned my hand while cooking dinner.  It caused me pain.  There is a pink shiny line running down the center of my palm trough my head line which is broken in two places (for those who are into palm reading). Coincidentally, I have had my head slammed to the street surface twice.  I'm sure the location of the burn has no significance other than that I cook with my hands and not with my feet.


On my left wrist I wear a bruise the color of an eggplant.  I would say that it caused me pain, but I don't remember how it even got there, and it is not tender.  When I stub my toe, I say a few choice words and dance around like it is going to alleviate the sharp pain somehow, and my children watch as they try not to giggle because I might get mad if they do.



  
During the Susan G. Komen event I suffered tremendous pain due to multiple sizable blisters.  When it comes to physical pain, we can't always take the pain away, but we can take measures to lessen it.  We can apply salves, burst a blister, take some aspirin, put ice on it, use a bandage.  In extreme cases, we go to the emergency room for more potent medicines.  There are a number of remedies available for physical pain.

But what about emotional pain? 

 I can't see it.  I can't touch it.  I don't truly know where to apply the bandage or the salve.  Recent events have surfaced a pain in me that I thought I had gotten rid of over a decade ago.  It is a pain that traveled my childhood and adolescence with me and through most of my college years.  It is the pain that drove me to study psychology.   



Perhaps it is the pain that I tried to capture in this self portrait from when photography was my minor.  

In an effort to ease the pain, I have found myself looking for how to forgive.  I was wrong in thinking the pain was gone.  The pain was covered over with a sheet in the dark corner of the attic of my mind.  Once in a while it would catch my attention but then it would be gone again, never affecting me the way it used to.

And so now, I look to forgive.  I do not forgive for them.  I forgive for me.  If I do not, I can never be truly happy again.  The pain had manifested itself into physical discomfort.  I find myself at the gym trying to run the pain away and then I find myself crying in the car after I'm finished running.  

Today the emotional pain manifested itself as illness.  I found myself at the local pharmacy's clinic to be told it was most likely a simple case of allergies.  I received some nasal spray and told to run on.  Then I had another session of tears in the car as I came to the realization that I was not physically run down from illness, but rather from emotion.  

So I write this blog in an effort to begin the process of true forgiveness.  It will not be instant. It will take a long time, but I will make peace with the pain and be thankful for the last 12 years.  The years when the pain was hidden.  This time though, I will not hide it back in the attic. I will put it out on the curb to be taken to the landfill.  Not to be forgotten, but to be learned from.



   

  "Forgiveness is a process.  Forgiveness is not about giving your approval of an offender's wrong-doing.  It's not about viewing what they did as less harmful than it truly was.  And it'snot about giving the offender a "free pass" to keep on doing wrong actions against you.  Forgiveness is about recognizing that staying resentful creates an "active echo" of the pain the offender caused.  By saying that the awful offense the offender did is "beyond forgiving" you give them the power to keep their offense alive in your heart.  Basically, you give them offender continued power over you.  forgiveness begins with the mind recognizing that there's a truthful logic in how the past cannot be changed, but happily the present and future can be.  Eventually forgiveness progresses to the heart with the heart deciding it will no longer the offender's pain to take permanent residence.  Yes, it is a process, but eventually the mind and heart together recognize that the choice to forgive is both logical and spiritually liberating."~Karen Salmansohn
                                                               

The Good, the Bad, the Ugly, and the Seemingly Impossible-Apparently I never published this.

The Good
VACATION.  I don't mean going off into paradise and spending time at the beach baking to a perfect shade of tan; I mean waking up with the sun instead of an alarm, not having to shower until bedtime, and working out in the morning only to climb back into bed.

 Since I am a teacher, I look forward to summers just as the kids do.  This year, I was talked into teaching summer school.  This meant that the first month of summer was no vacation for me.  My kids also attended the program so that I would not have to worry about childcare.  The Sunday after summer school was over, we all loaded up the car and drove 2,100 to South Carolina. 

First things first, I signed up at Anytime Fitness so that I did not miss out on any of my training.  The first three days it rained, and rained, and rained.  Unlike in Arizona, people in South Carolina keep living, down here, we stop to watch the rain.  I was thankful for my gym membership.

We made it to Folly Beach a couple of times to enjoy the waves and to downtown Charleston.  The Palmetto Carriage Tour entertained the entire family. We even drove up to North Carolina to enjoy Carowinds, a theme park straddling North and South Carolina.  By far, this visit with my husband's family was the busiest, and thus while enjoyable, it did not feel like a vacation.

Last week I enjoyed my first full week of just doing nothing, of REAL VACATION!  It has been glorious.  For me a true vacation is just doing what you want when you want without an agenda.  Just sitting in an air conditioned house with my kids and dogs is vacation enough for me.

MONEY.  No, I did not win the lottery, nor did I receive a ginormous raise, but I did meet a big goal.  I held my yard sale and raised over $900, and my painting party at Creative Juice Art Bar helped me raise $310!  I met my fundraising minimum for the Susan G. Komen 3-Day.  This means that I will be able to walk my 60 miles. 

The bad
FOOD.  While in South Carolina, I did not count calories.  I worked out, but wanted to fully enjoy the foods that I only eat once every  3 years.  Before leaving the scale was up 3 pounds.  After returning, it was up another 6.  Oops.  So much hard work can be undone in 2 weeks.  Thank goodness I worked out.  So here I am working on getting back to where I was.

CRACK.  By crack, I mean coke, by coke I mean Coca Cola.  OH MAN.  I used to be addicted to Pepsi, big time.  I stayed clean for about 5 months before school was out and carried my gallon of water with me.  At one point this summer I took a sip and it was all over.  An increased water intake has been helping to relieve both my coke addiction and the weight I gained. 

The Ugly
My best friend is moving away.  FAR AWAY.  I don't know what I will do without her here.  Anyone want to donate an iPhone so that I can face time with her?  She has been my rock for about 14 years and is like a second mother to my children.  She is my sitter when the kids are sick and my shoulder when I need to cry...like right now.

The seemingly impossible
10 MINUTES.  I dream of one day running a 10 minute mile.  This is truly an ambitious goal, since my fastest mile in my youth was a 13.5 minute mile.  At the time, I was the tender age of 14!  How in the world am I supposed to beat my 14 year old self?  Well, I have.  My fastest mile thus far has been about 11.75 minutes.  I average closer to a 12-13 minute mile.  I am not willing to beat myself up over my speed.  The fact that I have more than once ran 3 miles without stopping and once 4 miles makes me proud.  when I started all of this, I could not run one city block without feeling like I was dying.  My initial goal was to run one mile.  I am not going to say that one mile is now easy for me, but it is not a death sentence as it used to be.

REGULARITY.  Although I do have stomach issues, I am referring to my blog.  As stated in the previous post, I suck as a blogger.  I have accepted that.  Perhaps if I posted more often, I wouldn't have to write a book every time I did.:)

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