I’ve fallen, and I can get up!

Hurting caused a change in me. This week, a simple jump to block a volleyball (which I probably didn’t block) stretched strained and spasm-ed a muscle in my neck, and it hurt real bad. I saw stars for a second, felt spikes of pain and was left without easy movement of my head or left arm.

Big deal, I pulled a muscle and it will eventually get better. Sure.

A couple sleepless nights, a couple pain-filled days, I did get some pills and a heating pad. I am proactively working to feel better. But there was something interesting about this hurt, this neck injury. It changed me.

After this event, I could feel every slight twitch and micro-movement of my upper body. I was well aware, through these intense signal blasts that my body was giving me, the feedback that I was injured. I could not physically keep the same normal habits of raising myself out of a chair, or rolling around in bed, or bending down to pick up some trash off the floor of the restaurant.

Every simple movement of my being, now needed to be adjusted to account for this hurt. I didn’t need any instructions on how, I could feel the pain when it was a wrong move, and feel less pain, when I had corrected it.

Funny actually, my posture has been better all week. I’ve been lifting with my legs, and keeping my back straight when moving up and down. It still has hurt, and I am not completely healed yet, but the pain has showed me places physically, where I needed to get healthier. I know that over the summer, I haven’t been exercising, I have been eating for flavor and indulgence, instead of what is most healthy. I am running myself at a near break-neck pace, and it has felt as though that all came to pass this week, with a near broken-neck feeling. (Thank God it really isn’t 🙂 )

The pain and the injury, is showing me where I am weak. It is changing me. I really have little choice, but to slow down and take better care of myself right now. I used professional help, I saw how weak and irritable and whiny I can be, when in pain. I haven’t handled it all that well actually.

Injury can instruct us. Injury will change us. I did wonder to myself, that over a lifetime of injuries, how have I reacted to them all? Have I been the ‘victim’ of some wounds that left me paralyzed, and unable to move in certain areas? Probably. Have I noticed that with this neck injury, I literally changed the way I operated physically? Yes. If I had emotional injuries, can I see, that I was out of emotional shape and well being, and that I could work to improve my emotional fitness levels?

In this neck injury, there was no one to blame, but me. In my emotional injuries, if I take Ownership of them also, I could see that I am also, the One, in control of nurturing and healing myself. It’s not within the hands and powers of others to do this. As I write these words, I know that I am failing to live out, this idea, fully. I am a blamer at times. I do want the ‘other person’ to change sometimes. I am seeing my pains, falsely, as coming from ‘out there’ instead of ‘in here.’

My neck didn’t have a real arrow stuck in it, that someone else shot at me. Even if it did, the signal of pain would come from inside me. My emotional pains and inflammation and anger and irritability and everything else, is felt from the inside too. We do experience this world from inside ourselves, and that is where All the work is to be done.

Even if I understand this and ‘get it’, I will not be able to instantly remove all distress from my life forever. The natural process nudges our movement spiraling ever upward, through new levels of challenge and victory, as well as pain and discomfort.  How will I react, as life unfolds and I feel good things, and bad things?

If I can look back at this week, and remember, that I did still move and act and work, even with pain. I did seek help and adjust myself according to the physical discomfort, in order to feel better, I can do the same for my emotional well being. When I am receiving signals of distress emotionally, I can choose to stop myself, and to cease the pressure on that injury. I can get help too. I can see this as instructional, and helpful to show me where I am weak, and need exercise.

I will never be in perfect shape. There is no such thing as a painless life. If so, it would probably be boring anyway. We need these moments to remind us how good it does feel in our healthier moments. For awhile, I will be really grateful for the simple act of being able to roll over in bed, or get up out of a chair, or take a deep breath, or yawn, without hurting.

There is one big key to all this making sense for me. I had to know, that my natural state of health is to feel better, than I do right now. I do have to expect, to not wake up every day in searing spikes of pain coming from my neck/shoulder (and now lower back) areas. I do need to think, that ‘I could feel better than this right now.”

That is the contrast. That is the knowing that my natural state of my body is health. What about my emotions? Could I see the same thing? Could it be, that when I am upset, or angry, or irritable, that I could ‘know’, that my natural emotional state is peace, even joy? I could then look for real solutions and adjustments to make, rather that just to lean into my emotional injuries, point fingers outward, and express the detail and depth of my emotional pain to someone else, who I ‘think’ has caused this issue. Wow, I want to hope so. The world, my life, my health, could be beautiful, instead of ugly. God knows this 🙂

Lindsay, my wife, I love you. I apologize for my hurtful words this week. I know that I have things to heal within me, that you cannot be responsible for. I love you, thank you, for all that you are.

So, a big ole painful week is passing by. I am now mending and improving, and yet again, I’ve laid out here on this page, to remind myself later, where I was today. I know we are in a world of both joy and pain. I hope that I can use these moments as exercise equipment to make myself stronger, instead of chains and locks and spikes holding me fast in place, paralyzed and indignant with myself and my life.

I hope something in here, has touched something in there, with you today.


Aaron Nichols

3 thoughts on “I’ve fallen, and I can get up!

  1. All that I can say at this late date is that I pray you are feeling much better.
    This was such a busy last week and week-end that I am just now reading your
    blog. Watching those two nephews of yours for almost two days, makes be
    realize how frail and painful (knees) keep me fro doing what I did 10 years ago.
    they just keep going and going and seem to never realize what wonderful
    bodies we are given. Keep up the good work!!

  2. As soon often happens with your posts…
    VERY timely for me!
    I took a tumble down the mtn side while running last week & trashed my knee & elbow. Acutely aware of my health & strength…in contrast to the aching swelling & scabbing I’m dealing with right now.
    Really challenged to ponder what the state of my heart health, soul health, relational health is… Can I recover as easily & give myself as much grace for relational healing as I do for a bunged-up knee???

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