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Freedom despite Chronic Pain

Happy Fourth of July to my American Friends – the day the Declaration of Independence was signed and what became known as the day United States broke free of British rule. Not only is gaining independence a rite of passage for many countries, it is also true for groups of people within a country, and for individuals as they go through different stages of life. You may think of the women’s rights movement in the United States or of children gaining their independence in the teenage years. I would also like to suggest that it could be a way forward for someone in chronic pain.

Freedom - the power or right to act, speak, or think, as one wants without hindrance or restraint – doesn’t that sound great? However, there is the warning given to us by Eleanor Roosevelt, “With freedom comes responsibility.” And she went on, “For the person who is unwilling to grow up, the person who does not want to carry his own weight, this is a frightening prospect.”

Chronic pain is a frightening prospect and I know the ease with which I was able to pawn off my accident to all sorts of outside factors, like the lack of streetlights and the early morning dark, or the street sweeper. But at some point I had to move from blaming others and outside factors to take responsibility for what had happened. In the end laying blame wasn’t going to help me move into true freedom and independence.

If you are having trouble accepting your chronic pain maybe it’s time to look at why. If you’ve been in pain for a long time and feel there is nothing left to help you out of your misery, perhaps you also need to check in about where you put responsibility of your situation. Would you consider these questions?

Can you accept that there is neither good nor bad and things just happen? When you remove the labels you take away the stigma. I had a cycling accident, nothing was going to reverse that, and it changed my life. Time to move on.

“There is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so.”~ William Shakespeare

Is there a lesson to be learned from what happened? This can be a tough one to mull through because some lessons are often downright uncomfortable. But when you face the most negative aspects of yourself, your life you can move forward with far more ease. Once I faced the anger I felt I started to have breakthroughs in other areas of my life.

“Whenever something negative happens to you, there is a deep lesson concealed within it.” ~ Eckhart Tolle

Are you attached to your problem? Do you dwell on it, all the little details, what should and should not be? It can become tunnel vision and without letting go of what went wrong you remove any chance of improving your future. Growth, and the possibility for growth, comes as you expand your vision and let go what no longer serves you. I stopped talking about what happened and started taking action to improve my daily existence.

“Holding on is believing that there’s only a past; letting go is knowing that there’s a future.” ~ Daphne Rose Kingma

Yes, you may have chronic pain for the rest of your life but no, you don’t have to live it in misery. Your life can have meaning and it can both feel and be worthwhile.

Is freedom for you? What actions will you take? I’d love to hear your story so please leave a message on Facebook.

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