Monday, March 11, 2013

Old Injuries May Always Be There

The title of this blog, and the concept, can be applied to either physical or emotional injuries.  I'm going to talk about physical first, since that's what sparked this topic.


I have posted before about the issues I've been having with my foot.  It has kept me from running, off and on, for the past five months.  It still hurts.  Sometimes worse than other times. 

Yesterday I was walking one of my dogs, who I haven't run with in months.  He loves walks (or rather, runs).  As we got started I noticed my toe hurt a little, though not too much, and I decided to run a little.  See how it felt. 

Much to my surprise, and delight, the pain subsided.  I ran somewhat carefully, not putting too much strain on my toe, but I was still running.  It felt great!  We went for about two, or maybe three, miles.  Of course there were frequent stops, to smell stuff and for bathroom breaks, but then we'd resume running again, albeit at a relaxed pace (my dog's a little out of shape too, after not running for months, luckily for me).   

I had laid off of running, entirely, for six weeks, in an attempt to heal my foot "once and for all."  When the pain still showed up even after all that rest time, I was demoralized.  I was beginning to wonder if I'd ever be able to run (without pain or causing serious physical damage) again.

But here's what came to me as I ran yesterday:  Sometimes we don't lose our pain and injuries completely, but we learn to move forward with them

My toe still hurts today.  It's always the worst in the morning.  I realize this may just be something I'll deal with for the rest of my life, and I can accept that. 

Similarly, I had a painful hip issue about a year ago.  Same deal... I laid off running for a period of at least a month and did little physical activity.  Then one day I just decided I was sick of it (it was feeling somewhat better) and started running again, and it was fine!

To this day I still "feel" that hip from time to time.  I'm not sure what the injury was exactly, but I was diagnosed with hip dysplasia when I was sixteen, so I'm thinking that's finally starting to flare up and show itself again, after twenty years of running pretty pain-free. 

So be it.  As we age, physical infirmities and limitations may pop up.  There's not a whole lot we can do about it.  Of course we can do our best to be healthy and be good to our bodies, and treat them when injuries do arise.  But not everything is going to go away.  It becomes a new normal. 

*Note: I'm not saying to ignore painful issues completely.  Sometimes pushing through the pain can make an injury worse.  But listen to your body.  You know when you should rest and when you could give it a shot. 


On to the other obvious meaning of today's post topic.  We can carry emotional injuries with us as well.  Sometimes, seemingly no matter how much work we put into it, deep emotional insecurities, fears, and injuries will be there.  We can work through them to an extent.  Maybe even get rid of some entirely.  But the memories will remain.  And sometimes that's enough to spark it right back up again. 

A dear friend recently gave me something to think about.  She said that sometimes when we have fears and insecurities, it stems from thinking about something that's not actually happening right now.  We're living from our memories of a past hurt, or even from imagined circumstances based on our fear, and applying it in the present. 


She suggested looking at that fear or insecurity as just a thing, and not to be afraid of it.  Let it be energy, simply passing through you.  Don't grab ahold of it.  Don't re-enact it today, just let it pass.  Let it go. 

She further advised not to avoid such feelings when they come up, but don't give it so much attention either.  Don't freak out about it, in other words.  Just relax, let it be, and let it pass right on through you.  Such thoughts don't have to linger in your heart or drive your actions.  They don't.

This was interesting to me.  I hadn't ever thought about it that way before.  I had always thought any time an emotional issue would arise in a relationship, that I still had to deal with it.  It was still there, still plaguing me... Wouldn't I ever get past it? 

But everything is a choice.  And we can choose not to live in our fears and insecurities.  We can choose not to let them control our actions.  We can see them as memories, and not let them be our present. 

Today is a new day!  This is a new situation.  Are we going to repeat past responses to this current situation, or choose a new response?  A new path?     

I'm not saying any of this is easy.  And my friend even reminded me that it takes practice.  But the next time an old fear or insecurity pops into my head in my present social situation, I'm going to practice letting it slide right on by.  Watch it move through me, but not overtake me.  Stay present.  Stay in love.   


Again, this can apply to both physical and emotional pains. 

With my toe, and hip, issues, I am now resolving to just let them be.  I'll notice them when they crop up, but I don't need to dwell on them.  I can move forward, run even, with them.  Will they go away eventually?  I don't know.  Will they get worse?  Again, I don't know.  Only time will tell.  But all we have is the present moment anyway, right?  So focus on that. 

In regards to emotional issues, do the same.  Notice them when they come up, but don't let them run my life.  Be present.  Focus on the love I feel in my heart right now.  See other people for the love that they are. 

Old injuries and past hurts may always be there.  Somewhere.  So be it.  That doesn't mean you have to run your life around them or give them control over your actions now. 


Remember it's your life to create as you want.  What kind of person do you want to be?  Be that person! 

This is a trick I've employed from time to time when I'm feeling insecure and it actually helps.  For example, if I'm going into a new situation and feeling insecure or fearful for some reason, I say to myself, "What would a confident person do?  How would a confident person act?"  I can imagine other people acting in confidence, not insecure at all.  So then I copy what I envision them doing.  And it really does make me feel more confident and sure of myself too.  It's all about the attitude and the positive thoughts!     

Quotes of the Day:

"Accumulating injuries are the price we pay for the thrill of not having sat around on our asses."  (Mark Rippetoe) 

"Life always offers you a second chance.  It's called tomorrow."  (Unknown)

"We turn pain into suffering by adding all kinds of beliefs, interpretations, and judgments to it."  (Brenda Shoshanna)

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