The Upside of Injury

Pain is memorable. I will never forget the pain from my knee injury. I don’t know how I got my knee injury, as the pain just appeared one day, but everyday it is gone, I am aware that it is gone, and am extra grateful. Like all Injuries, mine felt very much like a curse, but evolved into a blessing. It made me cry, it slowed me down, and was very trying at times, but it educated and humbled me, and gave me a deeper appreciation for feeling good. This is a pretty universal journey for injuries! Here’s what happens, physically and spiritually, when we get injured: 

Stage One: Pain and Inconvenience
Ouch! Ugh! The initial stage is tough for obvious reasons – pain and inconvenience. The beginnings of an injury demand a change in routine, sometimes suddenly. There is discomfort and anger. I was downright mad at my knee and myself during this stage. I felt “punched in the gut” by the universe, and I was in survival mode physically, frantically trying to “fix” myself. 

Stage Two: Limited Mobility
Now, you’ve felt the pain and have adjusted according. This may mean changing running to walking, or high heels to flats. It may mean getting help carrying the groceries into the house. It may mean complete rest. Limited mobility is frustrating and could last a while, or not. It’s crucial to breathe, do what you can, and fit in other forms of self-care, like eating cleaner, meditating, doing some breathing exercises, etc. Stage Two is when surrender kicks in. I felt the “injury blues” but resigned to being idle.

Stage Three: Limited Intensity
The sun is starting to break through the cloudy skies – hip hip hooray! You’re back in action, but with modification, and you’re hopeful but leery.  Stage Three demands patience and pushing your ego to the side. Your spirits are lifting (which is such a nice feeling!), but you are taking things easy.

Stage Four: Back In Action (But With Heightened Awareness)
You’ve made it, and landed on the other side. Yes, maybe a certain level of fitness has been lost, but wisdom has been gained. Big wisdom. You have a new found appreciation for the masterpiece that is the human body. You’ve acquired wisdom that can’t be bought, wisdom that only comes from experience. The injury has made you a more aware, more compassionate person. You’ve won! This is the stage where I gained a greater trust in my intuition and became “in partnership” with my body…so mature, right?

Injuries are awful, and I don’t wish them on anyone, but if you zoom out and see the big picture, there is an upside. The pain and anger turns to sadness and surrender, which becomes hope and patience and then, ultimately, morphs into gratitude and wisdom.

It you are going through a rough patch with your body…hang in there, and remember you are not “stuck” – you are on a journey. And there’s a big gift waiting for you down the road.