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  • Kate

Embracing Bewilderment

I have been struggling with back pain the past week. Over the years, I have

recurring low back tightness that once or twice a year brings about more intense pain. The last few days has been one of those times, with difficulty in some movement - especially movement between sitting and standing. I have repeatedly found myself contemplating what I could have done to cause the issue this time. Did I work out too hard? Have I been sitting too much? Maybe I slept in a bad position? Is my car seat set wrong? I find it incredibly frustrating that there really isn't an answer.

I am a "why" kind of person. In my high school and college days, when friends would tell a story of an event in their lives, I was always asking "why?" "Why did you say that?" "Why do you think he did that?" and so on. I embrace tv shows and novels that explore the why of human behavior. And when my body doesn't behave in a way I think it should, I want to know why and then fix it. So what can I do when there is no "why" to fix?

I've been listening to an online course on political hope. In the session I sat down to today, the speaker used a phrase that I needed to hear in my current state - embrace bewilderment. As a "why" person, this is difficult, but necessary. While trying to better myself and remain healthy isn't a bad thing, maybe there is no "why" to battle here. Instead of going to war with my body, I can work towards being ok with not being ok all the time.

This doesn't mean I won't get massage or chiropractic care to alleviate the issue. But would knowing one specific thing that triggered this round of pain make a difference for me now? I can strive to simply take care of myself. I still need to treat it, stretch and rest my body so it can begin functioning better. And something else I need to consider - would eliminating the constant wondering "why" reduce stress and help me heal more quickly? Probably. So today, I am embracing bewilderment, releasing my need for "why", and letting my body heal.

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