The following post is not medical advice. If in pain, seek the appropriate help necessary.

I’ve found that lately I’ve been more in tune with life. As such, when I recently started having pain in my lower left side, I didn’t react. Nor did I ignore it. Instead I observed it and took it in.

At first there was some fear… what could this pain be? Is it serious? Should I see a doctor?


As the pain became a symbol of my own mortality, I noticed my relations to others changed. I wasn’t as triggered or bothered by strong views in social media.

I allowed things to play out their drama, and as an observer was able to rationally respond to people when asked, “what’s your take on the issue?” I knew they wanted some emotional response from me, but the mind, on the pain… thinking of mortality… framed my response. My words were chosen with more care and they seemed to express themselves from a higher state of being.

When mortality is assumed, the need to be right vanishes. One is willing to be wrong. One is willing to change.

Utilizing Pain

This, in my opinion, is a way to utilize pain. Pain frames mortality. It is a reminder that we won’t live forever. Our battles need to be chosen, not blindly accepted.

By all means, go to a doctor (I’m not suggesting otherwise), but take the pain as a mentor – as a guide. I used to run from pain, popping Advil at the first sign of trouble. Today, right now, I sit in pain… no pain killers… I focus on it, and let it remind me of what I am.

At a certain point, pain killers would be necessary in order to function. But if this isn’t the case, then the pain can be used as a reminder of our mortality.

The search for spiritual truth and transformation is strengthened, after all, we don’t live forever.

Most often pain is in control. It throbs or shocks us, and we react with avoidance – creating anger, frustration or anxiety. What I describe here isn’t where pain is in control, but where the mind dwells in observation of the pain, noticing it’s moment by moment nuances.

Granted, this isn’t the pain of a sliced off limb. This is something doable, something one can handle… a headache, a side ache.

Again – I’m not suggesting anyone forgo seeing a doctor, but rather that no matter what you do, that the pain (if bearable) can be used as a focal point, an aperture through which the world outside is slowed down and we respond with reason and logic.

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