On a few occasions, in the depths of pain, I laid on the papered treatment table as the nurse put medication into my bladder with a catheter. During the painful procedure, I sensed that the nurse was blaming my flare up on emotional issues and separating from me because I was visibly discouraged and angry. I was sensitive to this judgment because it mirrored my own internal state, and honestly I was probably my worst critic when I was hurting. On some level, I was angry at myself for being in pain, and I often discounted and ignored my painful body.
But over the healing years, I began to notice that the best way to get through the pain was to love myself through it. And not just in small ways; it was fierce love. It was being compassionate with myself even when I had energy for little else. It was being honest about the pain, listening to what my body was trying to tell me, and allowing myself to feel it. And in this way, each time the pain rose up to consume me, it also pried my heart open a little more.
There are few absolutes in life, but this one I know is true. We all have physical or emotional pain whether we want to admit it or not, and we could all use some “fierce love”.