Love Tests sometimes cause great pain. Suffering always is optional. Pain has been my greatest teacher. Imagine the pain of a broken heart, grieving a divorce, compounded later by the pain of a broken neck disconnecting your brain from controlling your spine.
Imagine pain preventing your head from resting on a pillow, your hands from lifting anything heavier than a feather, your feet from shuffling you forward any faster than a snail’s pace.
Imagine your stomach spitting out pain pills on the path through your broken neck, causing more pain. Imagine the only relief from this pain is found while doing a back float in a bath tub–during a year or more of recovery.
Now that you’ve imagined this pain, you may understand the lessons it taught me during my year of floating in hot water:
Pain taught me how to love stillness
Outside information felt like an assault that rattled my neck, so I tuned out the media, the telephone and the computer while I turned my focus inside. If the silences between the notes create beauty and meaning in a song, then silence became the music in my life.
Pain taught me how to rise above it
Every negative thought caused me to sink further in pain. So I chose to ignore my inner critic, who’d often complained or focused on negatives. As I let each troubling thought roll off my back, my inner critic went on permanent vacation and I floated in light-hearted peace.
Pain taught me to feel thankful for each sweet moment of relief
If pain were a monster in a horror film, I shut my eyes and learned to find safety inside–trusting that all is well, and as it should be in each moment.
Pain taught me to remember the love
Focusing on lost love from my late parents or my former husband only caused more pain. As I focused on the love that survives physical death or the death of a relationship, then I could savor all the love that remained in my heart to support me.
Pain taught me to express my creativity in ways that lifted my heart, mind and spirit
As I began each 24-hour cycle alternating between two hours floating in hot water to get some sleep and two hours sitting at my desk to do some work, I started writing my first book about my journey from lost love back into the fire of love. If a scene or idea didn’t lift me up, then I didn’t make room for it in my thoughts or my book.
Pain taught me ask for help
Facing the threat of paralysis if I got bumped even gently, I knew I needed help to recover from serious injury. So I explored medical options and weighed the risks of surgery versus non-surgical, nutritional and natural treatments. Then I chose a safe, elegant path toward recovery. Although it was successful, it was costly, experimental and not covered by insurance, so I invested my retirement money to regain my health.
Pain taught me to how to rebuild my body and return to optimal health
Eating only the best organic whole foods, choosing positive thoughts, actions and supportive friends, and getting some gentle exercise each day are secrets of real health care reform.
Pain taught me to pay attention to unidentified threats to our long-term health
As my childhood friends and I ran behind the fogging truck that drove through our baseball games on the street each week in the summer, no adult ever tried to stop us.
We had no idea in those days how the DDT used in the fog to kill mosquitoes also could harm our health and even weaken bones years later. What other untested chemicals are we exposed to today, having unjustified faith in their safety?
Pain taught me how to enjoy the exquisite pleasure of self love, inner peace and vibrant health
As I soaked in hot water for over a year, I learned how to let love lift me up as I float down the glorious river of life–without getting stuck in the banks of pain.
I honored these love lessons when I wrote my novel during my recovery and I formed the Tribe Of Blondes around the resilient positive spirit we need to overcome our toughest challenges and create great relationships with everyone in your life.
In that spirit, I encourage you to love deeply and live your dreams now,