I dealt with a lot of post-surgery pain last night. When pain begins to dominate one's consciousness, it is apparent how routines that lend meaning to life begin to break down: for me in the morning, writing in my journal, things to do, reading, creative ideas, the java, the music and simple awareness of the world around me.
I broke down and took a pain medicine, and these early morning positives began to come back. Well, I need to call the doc and see if he can remove this cath sooner rather than later...I think a hot shower would help too.
I do not want to get back to a place with pain meds where I am confusing dreams with reality. That would truly be a nightmare--it inhibits good communication with people who matter to me out in the real world, for one thing. I will also resume throwing the I Ching, one of my spiritual practices, and listen to not only the classic rock that I enjoy, but also meditation music. Oh, I did NOT take the pain pill that was making my so loopy before, but the other one that does not have that effect. So my thinking process is clearer. Linda says my voice sounds more like me. It's really tricky dealing with pain and meds. Opiates, especially, can be incredibly hard to regulate, and stop when not needed for pain. Now, emotional pain: this is a different animal we are dealing with, requiring a different approach. Finally, having someone who cares about you around, family or friends, even a loving pet, like our cat, Lily, can make a tremendous difference in terms of dealing with physical or emotional pain. When a person or animal loves you unconditionally, this is tremendously healing. This is not a new idea. But people can forget that you can love someone unconditionally without loving some aspect of their behavior.
In the Christian context, we are talking agape love. But this concept of deep compassion can be found in virtually every spiritual or religious context. Sadly, some people distort their religion to the point where it becomes little more than a manifestation of hate. Lately, I have been studying Judaism, attending a Buddhist meditation class, and attending a "homeless church." Linda and I are also going to check out a Unity Church nearby. Then, there is the fact that Linda is Bahai, a world religion. So we are both striving in our lives to approach religion from a broad perspective. And I even forgot to mention Native American spirituality--very important to me...