The Way of Pain

Today the Sacred
is taking the shape of pain.
My body, a fist,
as if the tightness,
the ‘No,’
will command it away.

No. The ‘No’ intensifies everything,
tears with claws
that dig in.

“I don’t want this.
I can make it go away.
I can’t make it go away.
What if it doesn’t?
I hate this.
What if it gets worse?
What if something more serious is going on?”

Catastrophic thoughts
and the big ‘No’
stacked like heavy books
in my head – spinning.

I was whimpering,
now moaning.

Pause.      Oh.

I remember.
I forgot the wisdom curriculum –
pain      illness      aging
stretch us to our limits
and –
how they
teach surrender
reveal portals into
the dark
the quiet
the slow
awaken us to what life here, simply, is
teach that suffering arises
when we resist
what is natural, inevitable, true.

Brings me to my knees
and I remember
the Infinite
the Unchanging
the Divine.

In this moment, I’m ok.
Breath sinks from chest to belly.
The body, with its limits and losses,
it’s life and destiny,
is alright now, as is.
Crying, moaning, being afraid
is alright, too
and –
I will rest easier
when I remember that
Love and the Infinite
are also here,
always Here.

Questions for Contemplation

Has illness or physical pain been a part of your life? How have you been impacted emotionally, mentally, physically and spiritually? What challenges have you encountered?

In addition to the difficulties, what have you learned about yourself and about life? Has the experience changed you in any meaningful ways? Would you consider pain to be a teacher in your life?