Holy Madre de Dios. 100 posts.
I just felt I had to acknowledge that. I'm not going to mention it again. I think. I'm actually going to fill my 100th post's text box writing about pain.
I spent the better part of the past weekend (or is it the worst part?) dealing with a migraine and its after effects. I don't get migraines nearly as often as I used to, thanks to yoga, growing up, eating slightly better, and having hormones that don't belong to a teenager.
I've always been floored by the pain migraines create. All headache sufferers know that even a small one bugs waaaay more than it should. And migraines give you the extra benefit of making you queasy and throwing up! And then hurting your joints and muscles because you're doubled up in pain! What a good reminder that the body is interconnected. Yay.
Now that I don't get migraines as often as I once did, when they come, I'm floored by the riveting fact of pain itself. I spent a good half-hour slumped on the bathroom floor, my head leaning against the cool tub, trying to focus on the pleasant smell of Dove soap while I moaned through the pain like a teenager experiencing her first hangover. I may have even thrown in a "Mom, heeeellllllpppp meeeee"--to a mother who passed away five years ago--for good measure. (Believe me, the fact that I'm got one of the two migraines I've had this year the day before Mother's Day is not lost on me.)
But all that isn't really what I wanted to say about pain. There was something almost profound about what I was experiencing. The really bad part lasted about six hours, and that time was like a six-hour meditation. There was no distraction from myself. No turning on the TV, no Youtubing, no phone calls, no yoga poses, no emails, no cleaning the litterbox, nothing but my own unpleasant thoughts and sensations to lie/slump/sit with.
Perhaps because I was finally forced to sit so still, all this mental and emotional pain came roaring up. A lot of stuff about my mom that I had simply not dealt with came out and whacked me across the face. It was like that time I was a kid, minding my own business on the playground, sitting by a tree with a book during recess, when a soccer ball randomly fell out of the sky and onto my head. (Seriously, all that happened.) It was there, waiting for me to be captive by something to go, "Oh, remember this? You knew you'd have to face it at some point." There was no escape.
Eventually, the pain began to lift, ever so slowly at first, as if feathers were being pulled off me. I could finally focus on something of my choosing. Many Buddhist scriptures begin, "Oh nobly born, you sons and daughters of Buddha, remember who you really are." I recited that in my head like a mantra, and each part stood out so clearly. I could write paragraphs on each part--being nobly born, remembering who we are instead of learning who we are, etc. There was some real comfort there in spending some time with that one line.
Finally, I got out of bed and watched Terms of Endearment until I knew I was well enough to sleep. Good movie. Memorable Mother's Day. Peace out, blogging world. I love that I can come and write here.