Use this meditation to ease physical pain and associated emotional memories of pain that may be stored in your body.
Over the years, I’ve injured various body part. I’ve had so many injuries, I lost track. But my body hasn’t. It remembers, and the memory can manifest as residual pain, periodic discomfort, or even a chronic malformation. I often catch myself favoring my right ankle or my left hip or my right forearm, for example. These are all places that have suffered injury, and although they happened years ago, the internal damage and the emotions I placed on those injuries are still there (“I’m so mad this happened!” “This sucks!” “Why me? Why now?”), not to mention some discomfort now and again.
I believe every physical injury has an emotional component: anger, frustration, fear, sadness, annoyance, neglect, bravado, impatience, worry, guilt, and many more—or several emotions all bundled together. You can’t wish pain away or expect it to disappear by not thinking about it or by masking the pain with drugs. Just as you would treat the physical aspects of the injury itself, so it is beneficial to tackle potential underlying emotional components, the pain of which can linger for years if left unaddressed.
Your pain needs acknowledgment. That doesn’t necessarily mean you have to spend months in therapy or go to deep, dark internal places you’d rather avoid—although you might. However, if you want some relief, you’ll have to do a little work. Sometimes I write about my pain in a journal. You can too. Write down one physical ailment that is bothering you. Start small or maybe with a chronic injury that’s been bothering you for a long time. If you really want to do a clear-out, make a list of all the physical injuries you’ve suffered in your life, from the earliest time you can remember. Next, jot down the memories from the following bulleted list. If you can’t remember the answer to these questions, don’t worry; just write what comes to mind.
- How did the injury happen?
- How were you feeling just before it happened?
- How did you feel right after it happened?
- Who else was there?
- What else do you remember about it (the weather, the location, anything)?
- How has the injury affected your life?
- How has it affected the lives of others around you?
- How does it make you feel now, emotionally and physically?
- What do you wish was different?
- How would your life be different if you didn’t have this pain?
- Assuming you may never get complete relief, what are some nonharmful things you’re willing to do to cope with, or to improve, your situation surrounding this pain?
You may always experience the chronic pain or discomfort of an injury or condition you were born with, but ease is possible. I hope this meditation allows you to experience ease. Use it as often as you need. The more frequently, the better!