We’re getting our house ready to put it on the market and we’ve made a lot of progress this week, but I’ve still got a long way to go before we’re ready to list. Unfortunately I’ve done more than I should in the process and I’ve been tired and in pain physically.
Time for some deep breaths and baby steps.
One of the things we don’t talk about enough as humans is the fact that our physical pain and exhaustion are not separate from our emotional pain and exhaustion. They don’t function in isolation.
The 1 to 10 on the pain scale is actually part of your overall 1 to 10 human scale that is made up of your emotional, physical, mental, relational and even spiritual well-being. And the reality is that all of us – regardless of what combination of unprocessed grief, stressors, loneliness or pain we carry – tip the scale at a 7 out of 10. That’s the point where it becomes too much.
I didn’t used to know this. I thought that I should be able to lock my physical pain up in a box and ignore it and still function like everything was normal and my starting level was 0. This is what I assumed was necessary as a child who lived in chronic pain of 4-6 daily and it took until my very late thirties to realise that it wasn’t working and – more importantly – it never could.
That’s because physiologically what’s happening with pain and stress and overwhelm and loneliness is that it triggers our amygdala – our fight or flight or freeze or fawn or force system – into action. We react as if we were face to face with a lion on the savannah, responsible for protecting our children or village. Which can be helpful in short term situations but isn’t as useful in the long run!
So what CAN we do in these situations?
Reducing our overall pain levels wherever possible, taking some deep breaths to calm our amygdala down, and taking some baby steps to lean into the wisdom of our values won’t fix everything, but it can be a good place to start.
And if you’re not sure what those are? Send me a message. I’d love to connect!