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The old cow paths

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by North Star, Feb 15, 2014.

  1. North Star

    North Star Beloved Grand Eagle

    I've been working the past few days helping a family move into their home. (I do some home organizing here and there.) The woman I've been helping has more than once mentioned her back and how she must be careful. And oh, btw, she says, the rolfing appointments have been very helpful. (Though it seemed to me she was in just as much pain later that day.) She's not a whiner, she was just explaining some of her limitations on lifting.

    This job has been very helpful on a couple of fronts.

    First, I realized how easy it is to get on the old cow path thinking and start chatting, 'Oh, yeah! I know what back pain is like…" And then you start comparing modalities and their effectiveness. (Or not!)
    I wanted to jump in and explain my struggles. But I didn't. I just made some sympathetic noises and didn't utter a word on my aches and pains. I honestly think that was a first for me. I'm not a whiner by nature but my empathic nature wants to demonstrate my understanding of pain. I realized how destructive this can be in reinforcing the pain script.

    And yeah. The aches and pains. They were definitely talking to me. So it was a great opportunity for me to press on through and tell my brain to knock it off.

    This job is very physical….I have a few more days. I never would have dreamed of taking on something like this pre-TMS awareness. And yes, it is pushing me. But I am very grateful for the lessons I'm learning to say nothing of the feeling of empowerment. :)
    Msunn, mousemom, Anne Walker and 2 others like this.
  2. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    That's great, North Star! I think these somewhat subtle but profound changes are the foundation of our healing. No longer trying to connect with people through our identification as a victim of pain--that is profound! Thanks for sharing it.
  3. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    You're a winner, North Star.
    Working though the pain, helping a friend, gives you a big boost of morale and confidence.
    We need lots of that.

    Those Olympic athletes who fall or hurt and go on with their event gives us all a lot of courage.

    Don't forget to take breaks in the moving helping. And deep breathing.
    Msunn, Lily Rose and North Star like this.
  4. North Star

    North Star Beloved Grand Eagle

    Lest I sound philanthropic, Walt, this is a paying gig. ;) (And talk about stepping outside my comfort zone after having done loads of volunteer work over the years!)

    And speaking of the Olympians…did you see the male figure skater who wiped out in a most spectacular way? No one thought he would get up again; he was clearly in a lot of pain.

    But he did get up. And skated beautifully. Gads, I probably would have curled into the fetal position and sucked my thumb.

    He said afterwards that the cheers from the audience are what motivated him to get up and finish the program.

    There's a lot of lessons in there!
  5. Lily Rose

    Lily Rose Beloved Grand Eagle

    You ... just keep rolling out those very specific and resonating phrases that shatter old notions.

    Thank you. I am going to take this nugget of gold and examine it thoroughly.

    with grace and gratitude,
    Msunn, Emre and Ellen like this.
  6. North Star

    North Star Beloved Grand Eagle

    OMG, Ellen, I can't believe I didn't comment on your brilliant comment! Yes, yes, YES….what Lily Rose said!

    I've been chewing on that phrase all afternoon. It really nails the dynamic…connecting with people on pain victimization. Pure brilliance.

    Thank you so very much.
    Msunn, Ellen and Lily Rose like this.
  7. njoy

    njoy aka Bugsy

    I need you North Star. Come to my house!
    North Star likes this.
  8. Solange

    Solange Well known member

    Yes, great insights Ellen and North Star.
    This is such an interesting point. I have a very good friend whom I met about 7 or 8 years ago and we first sort of bonded over our bad backs and various other aches and pains which were ever present in our lives. I'd not met anyone before who understood what it was like to be in chronic pain and at the time I found it a support and a relief to talk to someone who really understood what I was going through. I meet this friend for coffee a number of times a week on a regular basis and the really interesting thing is that now (and even before I heard of Dr Sarno et al) for several years at least, we talk about everything under the sun EXCEPT the symptoms we may have. We don't try to avoid it but somehow that topic just doesn't arise, we just sit and have a chat and a laugh and usually feel much better for it.
    North Star and Ellen like this.
  9. North Star

    North Star Beloved Grand Eagle

    Njoy, I would SO love to come to your house and help you! I suspect there would be plenty of laughter. :)

    Solange, I am so fortunate to have a dear friend who is walking out her TMS healing and aches and pains are very low on our topics of discussion. Is it any wonder we both leave our coffee dates so encouraged? It is amazing how socially acceptable it is to carry on about one's physical issues these days. I even hear young people talking about their back aches and how they "slept wrong" on their neck. It breaks my heart. If the "fellowship of suffering" becomes our chief point in relationship building…oh my!
    Msunn likes this.
  10. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    North Star, yes, I watched as that American Olympic skater fell on the ice and got up again and despite a hurting side
    finished his routine and did it beautifully. Yes, he said the audience cheered him on. Like we do for each other in the
    TMSWiki forums.

    It's great to have friend to talk to and not about our pain. There is so much else to share.
    Young people will realize it some day. I think it was Noel Coward who said "Too bad that youth
    is wasted on the young."
    njoy and North Star like this.
  11. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Oops, a Google search says the quote was from George Bernard Shaw.
    North Star likes this.
  12. North Star

    North Star Beloved Grand Eagle

    Walt, once a journalist…always a journalist, eh? Your correction made me chuckle. I'm a stickler for correct attribution too.
  13. Lily Rose

    Lily Rose Beloved Grand Eagle

    This thread, and broken sleep has manifested new pathways of thought ..... so I share, here, some musings.

    There are hidden and not-so-hidden benefits of pain:
    Attention (bring focus to yourself)
    Avoidance (related to the below items)
    Drugs (feel good/feel bad)
    Being part of a growing ‘club’ (subculture -- and who dares to say they don’t have pain? It makes you an outsider, and someone who simply cannot understand … )
    Balance of interactions (sharing confidences / bonding)
    Empathy and sympathy (acknowledging and validating)
    Connection with boundaries (connect through pain, keep all other areas off limits)
    Diversion from real issues (inward and with relationships; related to the above)
    Submission (belly up, don’t hurt me, I'm harmless)
    Excuse/reason not to do specific tasks (rather than finding modified ways to accomplish the same task)
    Weight issues (allowances for - both over and under)

    I could write essays (as you all know by now ;) ) on each of the listed, but, for the moment, I think I will leave the list as is .... let the concepts be out there for everyone else to mull upon.

    with grace and gratitude,
    njoy and North Star like this.
  14. njoy

    njoy aka Bugsy

    North Star, there would cheering and welcomeaand beerbudsand dancea in the streets!
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2014
  15. North Star

    North Star Beloved Grand Eagle

    You're sweet post is sending me out the door with a huge smile on my face, Njoy. :)

    Have a wonderful day….this girl is off to slay dragons again today!
  16. Lily Rose

    Lily Rose Beloved Grand Eagle

    Rather than slay dragons .... tame them. They make intriguing (if slightly smelly) companions ;)

    with grace and gratitude,
    North Star likes this.
  17. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Tame dragons are the best.

    We can tame our dragons by practicing TMS.

    I had a bad dream last night about my stepfather who was a very hard man to live with.
    I hadn't dreamed about him in years so it was upsetting.

    Very few people got along with my stepfather. I don't think he got along with himself very well.
    I do believe he had a lot of TMS. Built-up anger because during the 1930s Depression he didn't get
    a chance to go to college and had to work instead to help the family. He held it against his father
    all his life and it ate my stepfather up. We can't hold on to regrets. What's over is over. Do the best
    we can from then.

    I decided to just put the dream down to an overactive mind before going to sleep.
    I thought I had forgiven that dragon a while back, but maybe I need to do it again.
    Our unconscious mind can be slow on the uptake sometimes.
    North Star and Lily Rose like this.

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