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What I Learned About Meditation and Acceptance – Pain News Network

Posted: October 30, 2020 at 12:57 am

By Mia Maysack, PNN Columnist

Recently I was asked how I've managed to deal with agonizing pain every day for over 20 years. The answer is far from simple, as it has been an extraordinarily long road that I'll continue to travel for the rest of my life.

After over a decade of attempting mainstream remedies such as pills, injections, procedures and other therapies, I reached a point of hopelessness that led to contemplating the possibility of giving up. I had become tired and sick of being sick and tired.

I still am!

At the beginning of my holistic journey, I felt as though all my options were exhausted. Enough already with the corporate approach to medicine, along with being treated as either a drug seeker or experimental lab rat.

To be clear, I'm tremendously grateful for all the avenues I've been able to travel, as well as the providers who did what they could to help me along the way. I am even thankful for the doctor who initially misdiagnosed my ear infection as swimmers ear -- even though it almost cost my life and led to a permanent state of discomfort.

I wouldn't be who I am without those experiences, nor would I now be in this position to assist others in the treacherous journey that is chronic illness.

Acknowledging grief, as real a symptom as the hurt itself, was a first step for me. I had to come to terms with knowing what I experienced was not a personal punishment, and also develop a relationship or coexistence with it that was mandatory for my survival.

After growing in affirmation of those truths, I was then able to wrap my mind around acceptance. That didn't mean I liked the situation and I still don't!My illness doesn't define who I am as a person or where I'm able to go from here -- based on the things that I can control.

This would be about the time some of you may question the merit of what I'm speaking about. So let me take this moment to break it down.

Is an altered state of mind going to address or correct all my problems? No.

Am I suggesting the idea that "positivity" cures? Also no.

I am reminded of a medical professional who endured a traumatic spinal injury and was told they'd never walk again. This began a four month long meditative process for this individual, who envisioned having surgery to the point of feeling its physical effects. Needless to say, they are not only walking again, but still practicing medicine.

Of course, there are things that cannot be "fixed." But shifting gears in how we think about a problem cultivates space for an opportunity to no longer dwell on what we're unable to change. Instead, we can invest and focus on what we can change.

Dwelling isn't the same as grieving, so give yourself permission for having thoughts of "screw this!"

Exploring new territory is what it means to be human. When we decide our experiences are opportunities for evolution, there's always a chance of merging onto an on-ramp that leads to personal growth and acceptance.

That's another benefit of meditation that I encourage you to study for yourselves. When our bodily systems are more relaxed and we're breathing adequately, there's often improvement in how were feeling. Each moment consists of evolution because things are always changing,

It took a while, but I've come to embody that same sort of energy. There's a lot throughout the world I cant do very much about. But there are small things I can handle with great love, which includes coexisting with the different aspects of my life. Compassionate nurturing is a monumental and radical task, but it's vital and necessary.

Mia Maysack lives with chronic migraine, cluster headache and fibromyalgia.Mia is the founder of Keepin Our Heads Up, a Facebook advocacy and support group, and Peace & Love, a wellness and life coaching practice for the chronically ill.

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What I Learned About Meditation and Acceptance - Pain News Network

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