Pain is a very real symptom that many women experience during their menstrual cycle. In reading Woman Code, by Alisa Vitti, I learned that this is not normal. Though we might think of periods as horrible, they’re not meant to be. So if you’re experiencing pain, something is out of balance.
I’ve done a lot to decrease inflammation in my body, which has helped immensely. Giving up inflammatory foods such as gluten, dairy, and red meat has been hugely beneficial. I still need to take an advil here or there to stop the cramping, but often just one throughout the entire course of my cycle does the trick.
That’s a major difference! In the early days of this condition, advil did absolutely nothing to combat the cramps and I experienced for the first time in my life what it meant to be doubled over in pain. I’m so grateful to be beyond that experience and see that there’s a lot to be said for eating an anti-inflammatory diet.
Yet, every-so-often I’ll get knocked down, usually if I’ve been traveling and my diet gets thrown off course. This happened recently after a two-week long vacation in Toronto visiting family and friends, celebrating my Grandmother’s 90th birthday. I indulged in a lot of gluten, throwing caution to the wind in the name of celebration. My body showed me, it’s not ready for that.
My biggest take-away from this experience is that there’s something that happens in the midst of suffering that makes it so much more extreme…Resistance. When we resist the truth of who we are or the present reality we’re in, our suffering increases. Instead, we must surrender to what’s being asked of us, to what needs attention. Only then can the pain pass through, allowing us to get to the other side.
When I indulge in foods that I know trigger sensitivities in my body, I’m resisting the truth of my current reality. I’m resisting the truth of my unique health needs. When I’m in pain and I’m feeling sorry for myself, getting angry, feeling guilty for not being more productive, feeling guilty for taking advil, etc. etc., all I’m doing is increasing the severity of my suffering!
I saw this happening and let go. I actually laughed at myself with so much compassion for simply being human. I gave the little girl within a hug, asked her what she needed, and allowed the truth to be heard.
Why am I sharing all this with you? Because I think resistance to pain is so common. We make life’s challenges so much worse by battling against them, questioning them, avoiding them, or pretending they’re not really happening. These forms of resistance are detrimental to your wellbeing, to your progress, to your ability to fully embrace and experience life!
If you’re in pain right now, I send you blessings, I’m with you, I know it sucks. And, I invite you to take a moment to ask yourself where are you fighting what wants to be seen and heard? How can you lay down your arms against yourself, against life, and allow for what needs to happen, or shift, or be overcome? Release your attachment to what you think your life is supposed to look like, or what you think life owes you.
Instead, try acceptance of what is, and then ask, “What is the gift here? How can I make this better?”
The answer might not be immediate or obvious. But the search for it is far more loving and uplifting than “Why me?”
Remember, love is all around you. And even in your darkest hour, there is beauty and grace available…if you allow it.
In the comments below, share how resistance shows up in your life.
Wishing You Peace & Blessings,