Yesterday I went for osteopathic treatment myself. I rarely do that but when I do I always see one of my former osteopathy teachers who has been an important mentor to me years ago. He knows me and my struggle and more importantly he is one of those very few therapists who does not make great promises of healing but is still humble and curious enough to ask questions, despite being one of the best osteopaths I have ever met.
He asked me “So why is it, that you are burdend with so many ailments currently?” I answered: “You see there really is no ‘currently’ anymore.” This might sound more negative than it actually is. In fact, I found relieve in giving up hopeful thoughts about the future and sad musings about the past. Let me tell you why.
Everyday I feel some kind of pain in my body. On some days the pain reaches a level that will still let me function more or less normally and on some days the pain is almost unbearable. I have limited possibilities to use medication in order to protect my inner organs or to avoid side effects, so sometimes I am forced to endure the pain, particularily when I’ve exceeded my monthly maximum of acute medication. I also noticed that I am gradually losing certain abilities both physically and mentally. After many years of sickness and numberless therapies in alternative and conventional medicine with varying amounts of success I slowly stopped attaching my hope onto new therapeutical interventions in order to avoid yet another disappointment. And I stopped musing about the past when various things were still possible which aren’t possible anymore.
So slowly but steadily I got more and more rooted in the here and now and began to face my pain. I realized I can’t run from it because it is always there and it’s a part of my daily life. No matter what I try to numb it or distract myself from it, it keeps coming back. So, finally, all I could do was to let go and embrace it. And I tried to see what is still possible instead of constantly mourning the abilities I have lost. And that actually made things a lot easier. Meditation is a huge help to learn to embrace my here and now with the pain. I’d even say it’s the only thing that has ever made this immense difference in my life.
In the end I am not that different from other people. Everyone feels pain in a way, some physically, some emotionally, and most people are reflexively trying to run away from it and will probably realize sooner or later it doesn’t work. And I think everyone faces a natural fading of abilities due to aging or a change of life circumstances. If there is one wise thing I could pass on it would probably be something like “Always try to see the good things in the present moment.”