I have been thinking a lot lately about language, and about how our thoughts and words influence our beliefs and actions.
If I say “I am in a lot of pain today,” does that influence the way I deal with my pain that day? I think it does. Pain is not a static mass. Sit quietly and pay close attention to your pain. It moves, it fluctuates, it varies. Now if I state to myself or out loud that I am in a lot of pain, I may not allow myself the awareness to focus on and appreciate the moments when the pain is less.
Sometimes I will find that I am in a good frame of mind – despite whatever symptoms are nagging at me – and someone will ask me how I am doing. I know they are asking how my symptoms are that day, so instead of focusing on why I am feeling good in spite of it all, I focus on what is nagging at me and will respond with something like, “Okay but a little fatigued today.” What a wasted moment. I missed the opportunity to build on my positive state of mind, and all of a sudden I am more focused on how tired I am!
If instead I say, “I am doing pretty good today,” then that becomes the emphasis of my immediate reality. I am doing pretty good!
Pain is real. The pain of fibromyalgia is a reality we are all too familiar with. I am not advocating we ignore it, or pretend it is not there. I am just suggesting that we think and talk about it in a different way. Instead of declaring, “I am in a lot of pain today,” maybe I could change my language to focus on the positive; “My head feels clear and focused today. I think I will write a blog post!”
Let your language help you to find the joy in even the bleakest moments. Find a positive to focus on and state it out loud. Make it your reality.
I am not happy in spite of my pain. I am just happy.