JAW DROPPING INSIGHT

It flared up all of the sudden. I opened my mouth to yawn and my jaw seemed like a creaky, old door, the muscles stiff, the joint popping. I iced it all evening and took pain pills. It was possible to still speak, but annoying to do so. I had almost forgotten what TMJ felt like.

Earlier yesterday, and I mean 4:40 AM early, there was an earthquake in nearby Pacoima. I felt it. I jumped out of bed. The day started stressful and somehow, despite my mental stress being allayed, it seemed that stress had landed into my vulnerable jaw.

I’ve had TMJ most of my life. It’s not a new thing. What’s new, though, is my understanding that it flares up during stress. Though yesterday was hectic by any account, I was reminded that mind and body are one. They communicate and interface. My body was telling me that though I had rationalized my stress away (seemingly) it still hadn’t been thoroughly dealt with.

I wake up today with pain that’s less intense. That’s a good thing. Time to slow down, face fears gently and baby that jaw some more. Pain and suffering are not the same thing, though we often connect and interchange them in daily discourse. If we listen to our pain and get curious about it and attentive to it, we can heal ourselves more deeply and thoroughly.

Today, I am thankful for my jaw pain, because pain can be my teacher if I choose this.

Transforming Our Pain Into Action

This week’s What Women Want Talk Radio with Judy Goss had one stand-out theme to me:   transforming our pain into action.

We all deal with pain–emotional, physical.  People often put pain on a spectrum, at least in clinical environment.  I see pain as sort of a canvas of colors and shades personally.  What’s important is not the existence of pain.  Pain is a great equalizer and common denominator.  It’s what we do with our pain that’s important, which is why I was so illuminated by our guest this week, Lisa Jacobson of The Daily Migraine, who had suffered through 9,000 migraines and Samantha Elandary, who took her childhood issues with speech and language and founded The Parkinson’s Voice Project.

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3.22 Positively Affected by Disabilities