There are no absolutes in life, just the story we tell ourselves. “I’m too old”, “I’m too fat”, “Be careful, I injured my shoulder 15 years ago”, “Eh, this is just what happens when we age”. Any of this sound familiar? It is when we identify with the thoughts our mind/ego tells us we hold ourselves back. We begin to live our lives as if these thoughts are truths. In reality, our thoughts are only interpretations from our past experiences, what someone else told us, our education. None of these are concrete, set in stone truths, but what I have come to realize is that the longer we believe these thoughts the more they become apart of us. Our identity becomes, “I’m old”, “I’m injured”, “I’m shy”, etc. when it should be, “I’m Katie”. When we are so attached to a specific identity for so long we fear losing it because without it who are we? We lose ourselves when we are so tunnel visioned and can’t see the whole of us, the hundreds of other attributes that make us who we are. As long as we keep identifying with these thoughts, no matter what we try to change, we will remain stuck, imprisoned in the label, our story, we give ourselves.
Do you let a baby cry? remain in pain? No, you do anything you can to lessen their discomfort. So why do let our own self remain in pain? The majority of us live with some sort of chronic pain and think that’s just the norm. How did we, as a society, come to believe that living in pain is the norm? That’s crazy!!! We got to this point by putting a label on our symptoms and were told the only thing to keep this pain at bay is to take this medication. We take the medication and we feel better, but when we go off the medication the pain returns so we begin to identify with the pain as being a part of us. The problem starts by thinking a pill will magically make the pain go away, that we don’t have to do any work, we don’t have to be uncomfortable. But we do have to feel! We have to feel the pain to get past the pain. Only when we allow ourselves to feel and let go of the label we gave ourselves will the pain leave us.
Do you have an injury that happened over a year ago and still caution people about it even though its completely healed? I know I have! But again, we put ourselves into a constant state of fear all because we let this injury become one with us. We fear that pain the injury produced so we go into a specific holding pattern not allowing our body or our mind to move/think in certain ways, we become stuck physically and mentally telling ourselves we cannot do certain things, not out of pain, but out of fear. What got me out of my holding patterns was someone asking me, “What’s worse? Possibly feeling pain again or not living the life you want to live?” So, I now ask you that same question… “Is it worth keeping the label of ‘being injured’ or letting that go and living the life you dream of?”
Aging… My least favorite label. From a young age, we hear things like, “well, I am getting older so I just don’t have energy like I used to” or, “I can’t get on the ground any longer but… it’s just what happens when you get older”. Now, I know that our body starts to breakdown after so many years, but when you label yourself ‘old’ you will become old. Every thought you have will manifest into your life. Do you want to manifest old, stiff, weak or do you want to manifest vibrant, active, and loving? Our mentality determines how we see ourselves and it is what sets apart people who remain active into their 80’s (yes, I saw an 80+ year old running a marathon) and those who can’t get to the ground and play with their grandchildren when they’re 60.
Putting a label on something is taking the easy route. When you build a story around your symptoms you give yourself the ‘ok’ to stay exactly where you are. You rationalize reasons why you can’t or won’t get better. This kind of living keeps you in a constant state of fear where you are only able to react, never act. Letting go will be the biggest step to finding a pain-free, anxiety-free, xyz-free life. I will ask you one last time: