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I Love My Pain.

I love my pain.

It’s been with me since I was about 18 years old. Around that time, I noticed my back would start to hurt if I stood for a certain length of time.

There was no injury, no event. Just a gradual onset of achiness right above my tailbone.

I figured it would go away. But it didn’t.

I went off to college and then physical therapy school to pursue my doctorate. I learned about anatomy and physiology, rehabilitation science, different schools of thought and approaches. I experimented with all that I learned in an effort to rid myself of the pain.

Still, the pain remained.

Then I learned about how pain works. I learned that pain isn’t a measure of the state of the tissues. That pain is really a measure of our body’s perception of danger.

This led me to believe that I could think my way out of the pain by declaring that it’s imaginary; a mere illusion of the mind projected onto the body.

Still, the pain remained.

Then I started learning about suffering, and how pain is merely one form of suffering. I learned (and experienced) that it’s possible to experience pain without suffering from it.

And somewhere along the line, I learned to use the information that my body is giving me instead of trying to push it away. To treat the pain as a beacon to slow down, sleep more, exercise more, take breaks, have fun, laugh; to move toward a state of safety and balance in my life.

As I started heeding the wisdom of my body, I grew to feel a sense of gratitude. Gratitude that my body is trying to protect me. Gratitude for all that my pain has taught me and how much it has humbled me. Gratitude that my pain has carved a path for me toward helping others in pain.

All in all, my pain taught me how to love something without liking it.

This, I believe, is the whole game:

We don’t have to like what happens to us in life, but if we’re able to accept it, learn from it, and even feel some love and gratitude for it, we slowly see that suffering is not an inevitable consequence of being human.

Do I still have pain? Yes.

Do I still suffer from it? Yes.

Do I suffer less than I did in the past? Yes.

That’s progress.

Good luck out there,


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