I’m back. . .


So sorry I’ve been away for a few days.  Where I live the barometer has been bouncing all over the place for the past 10 days and I’ve been in a lot of pain.  I’m pretty sure that it’s been the weather as I’ve had no stress at all.  I’ve been doing yoga, meditation, on two new meds for pain, doing some biofeedback, and really watching my food intake.  I could also tell because my mom, who has fibromyalgia, has been in horrible pain all week.

I’ve downloaded a number of things from Audible.com including:  Kum Nye Relaxation (several things from this) by Tarthang Tulku.  I downloaded You Are Not Your Pain by Danny Penman and Vidyamala Burch, Energy of Mindfulness by Thich Nhat Hanh, and The World of Relaxation by Jon Kabat-Zinn.  I’m looking forward to checking this out.

One thing that I want to set up, before January is over, is a schedule for all of the things I’m doing:  meditation, yoga, biofeedback, etc.  And I want to schedule time each day to read and to write on the blog.  I have come to accept that I’m going to have times like this when I am down for the count for reasons beyond my control, like the weather.  I did all I could and still had a lot of pain.  Instead of getting ticked off or thinking that it will “always be that way”, I have to accept that it’s not a week or day or hour to read but maybe it’s the time to crochet or nap or do something else.  But it won’t last forever.  And I just have to have patience and wait for things to change.

Anyway, today I didn’t wait to get a migraine because I knew I had a dental appointment so I took my cycle breaker and went to the appointment.  Happily, I never got a headache and was in minimal pain today.  Yeah for the changing tides of weather. So we’ll see what my PA has to say.  I can’t be on a cycle breaker (meds that I take to break a cycle of migraines that has lasted for several days despite medication to abort it in its tracks) all the time so I’ll have to let her know that my preventative medication isn’t doing enough to counteract the weather fluctuations.

I’m doing everything else like I’m supposed… two meals a day, water, sleep, staying away from trigger foods, staying stress-free or with minimal stress, watching my BP with my new meds, etc.  So we’ll see what changes we’ll make medically and go from there.  I have to accept that I will have chronic pain, like my mom and my grandmother on each side of my family.  It is something that I have to live with but not be ruled by it.

If you are suffering from pain, living with HIV or cancer or some other disease, living with trauma or something else that shakes your mental health, know you are not alone.  Even when you do everything you are supposed to, you can still have bad days or suffering from illness and old age.  The one thing that you can learn from the Buddhist teachings is that we cannot escape illness, old age, and death.  We can put them off but never escape them.  And do you really want to live this life thinking the next one will be better so you just have to be patient?  No, you want to learn to live here and now and find some quality (spiritual, physical, psychological) in this life, in spite of what’s going on.

Here’s to much less pain in 2018 and seeking to fulfill dreams.

Until the next time:

May you be free from suffering.  May you find the way out of suffering and the roots of suffering.  May you be happy and safe.  May you be compassionate and feel others’ compassion for you.  May you be loved and never take for granted how loved you are.  May you always know that you are not alone.


2 thoughts on “I’m back. . .”

    1. There are so many similarities between Catholicism and Buddhism. I do not remember the concept of Victim Souls growing up but that does not surprise me.

      In Buddhism there is the concept of the Bodhisattva that vows to continue to be reborn until all beings are free of samsara. In some ways that is very similar.

      I also remember listening to Pema Chodron’s work on metta or tonglen. One of the practices is to breathe in anger, anxiety, pain (whatever is the ill that you are meditating on) and breathe out something positive like peace, ease, comfort. But then you take it a step further and then focus on well, if I am going to have this pain (for instance), let me have the suffering so that no one else has to have it.

      I think the concept of the wounded healer may be in keeping with this thinking. (I will look up Victim Souls to learn more). We used the concept of the wounded healer in hospice a lot. When a person has had so many losses, like I have, then why not take the pain and suffering and healing that you have had and use it to help others.

      I definitely believe that was true. My whole life had “set me up” to do hospice work. I lost a lot of people at a very young age. I was comfortable with funeral homes and the rituals (both from my Catholic upbringing and from having family in the funeral home business back in the day).

      And let’s face it, dying, grieving, suffering, etc are all very existential ideas or at least ideas that the existentialists wrote a lot about. It seemed like end-of-life work was perfect for all of those reasons. Couple that with my own practice of Buddhism and it seemed to help me give meaning and purpose to all the loss in my life.

      But I have not looked at the chronic pain in this way until recently. I haven’t written about it; I’ve been surviving and now that I have time and space, I am trying to find meaning and purpose to losing the most productive and crucial years of my life to horrible almost daily pain.

      Such a juicy topic to explore personally and as a group. Thanks for the idea and I will look into the concept of the Victim Soul. Because of my own frustrations with my upbringing I have shyed away from Christian spirituality and have learned about other traditions. Probably very similar concepts but did not have the personal trappings for me in the same way. (For example, one of my favorite things about Buddhism is chanting and using a mala and it brings me back to the days of going to school extra early so that I could say the rosary before school with the elder women of the church. I thought for awhile I might become a nun. While the other kids played basketball before school, I sat comfortably wrapped in a warm glow of connection to God, reciting the rosary with the Crones of the church.) Anyway, I do love that so many concepts are universal, once you take away the “sociological” dressings of the culture and look at the essence of the ideas.

      A lot of food for thought. Thanks!!!!!


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