Sometimes Healing Hurts, Pt. 2
“May the road rise to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face.
May the rain fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the hollow of his hand.”
— An Irish Blessing, author unknown
My aunt was a nun. She was Sister Theresa Fitzpatrick, from Garden City, Long Island (New York).
As a child, and into adulthood, I knew her as Aunt Rita.
Aunt Rita once gave my family a wall plaque with that prayer on it.
I used to stare at it and consider it, thinking that it was a beautiful wish, created by a beautiful someone among my cherished ancestry who had a flair for poetry.
The Irish love their poetry
As a child and a young teenager, I fell in love with the English language, and started to write every chance I got.
It made me feel connected to the Earth and her creatures, to God and to mankind.
As a budding young writer, I became a keen observer; and as I observed, I became aware of that which is not pleasant in human nature.
And as I later researched what I observed, I realized horrible truths that the Bible did not immediately reveal to me, but became self-evident upon observation:
That mankind was both God and The Devil, that we chose to act the way of The Devil, and that, because of our tendency for greed, visciousness, apathy, fear, and cruelty, we were making Hell out of paradise here on Earth.
I began to see my writing as a mission. I was going to be a great novelist, a great poet, a great playwright…my words were going to move the masses of sleepy destroyers into woke (before that was a thing) saviors of humanity and our planetary home.
It was all about communication
But as I passed into high school, as a nerdy, cerebral, emotional teen, I experienced cruelty, shunning, viciousness and apathy from my peers and adults outside my home.
My optimism for my and our collective future waned.
Truthfully, the only reason I did not commit suicide in those days was the Catholic belief that that there was something worse beyond this planet for those who took their own life. So later, when I no longer counted myself among those who call themselves Catholic, my faith system served its purpose for me at the time.
Instead, I searched for ways to “get in front of death.” I drank, I smoked, I took drugs. I took unnecessary risks with my mind and my body.
I hung out with angry, violent societal misfits who were frustrated like me, but more on a micro level. Their home lives and careers were their hell, so I felt like at least on that level, I had it better than them.
That would change.
My anger became both micro and macro. It turns out, when you hang out with people who give up on their loved ones, chances are, you lose faith in loved ones, too.
As I grew older, as an angsty teenager and a frustrated adult, I kept Aunt Rita’s plaque above my door out of a strange sense of loyalty to the child in me who once who saw beauty in those words.
But I would scoff at them as I passed under it to face another day of disappointment in life. I thought them fairy tale wishes, from a people who feasted on fairy tales, who were beaten into submission, almost to extinction, by centuries of usurpers who had nothing but contempt for my people, usurpers who had other ideas for the innocent.
The wounded Irish, the wounded me
Still, my inner child still wanted the beauty. She still believed, somehow, that life could be beautiful.
She was still alive, and she wanted to live.
And as I moved into my twenties, I tried to reclaim the passion for life and my dreams of poetry that I once had.
The road seemed long and seemed to move farther away.
The wind seemed to push against my chest.
The sun seemed to burn my face if I dared to turn it upward.
The rain seemed either rare, or flooded my dry fields.
When I met those who loved me, I turned away.
God was a lie. I was on my own.
Fear breeds lonliness
For a long time, I shunned a life of service. I abandoned hope, so I created my own hell.
I became that which I feared most: angry, resentful, poor in spirit and home, and afraid.
All the time, afraid.
Why am I telling you all of this?
Because the mind follows the body, and the body follows the mind.
I ended up with pain from my reckless lifestyle, and that’s how I found chiropractic.
And that’s how chiropractic found me.
Moving from a pain model to a healing model
I was a pain patient for years before I realized that chiropractic was helping connect me to my inner child again, helping her cry out for life, helping her claw for hope.
This has not been an easy, nor a fast, healing process.
My home and career life fell apart three separate times before I decided to take a right-hand turn and become a chiropractic student.
I became a chiropractic student, and then a chiropractic doctor, long before I realized that my career choice was helping me heal myself, and that with every adjustment I received AND delivered, I was reconnecting my spirit with my body.
Only happy while serving is not enough
For a long time, the only time I was happy was when I was learning how to help others through chiropractic care.
Later, the only time I was happy was when I was serving through chiropractic.
But I still struggled for years with anxiety and the health consequenses to my body and life, and therefore, to my family and community.
Reclaiming my health one adjustment at a time
It has only been in the last few years I have begun to reclaim my inner and outer health, and the beauty I once saw in the world. It has only been in these last few years that I have been able to see through the clouds of my hopelessness to my own power and purpose.
Now, on this May Day 2018, I emerged from the Metro to a cold, windy, rainy Amsterdam day.
It was a short, inviting trek along the road to my office.
The wind was at my back, merrily quickening my pace.
The sun shines in my smile at my day ahead
The rain is falling softly on these fields ahead of me
My inner child and my wiser self are walking side by side
God is in my healing hands, and I am in Hers.
I was, and am, still healing.
I still see the mysery. I see it more, actually.
But thanks to years of reconnecting my nervous system with my physiology, I have reconnected to something I lost a long time ago.
I have faith. I have hope. I have joy. I have love.
Because of this, I have reclaimed a great deal of my physical and mental health.
You are not alone. Neither am I.
In my office, I see in others the hell that I created for myself on a micro level.
They walk into my office with shoulder pain, with low back pain, with neck pain. Of course.
They also walk in with flawed neural patterning that began years and years ago, when something happend in their lives that they couldn’t integrate.
Maybe it was abuse. Maybe it was sorrow, disappointment, or the terrible realization that life is not what they thougth is should be.
If we are lucky…
If they are lucky, their imbalance expresses itself in pain, and they find the right help.
The pain is a cry for help. It is a sign that your neural system is not firing properly, that there is improper feed to your body due to a buildup of stress.
Chiropractic helps you repattern your body and mind so that our bodies AND our minds are more flexible, more adaptable, more able to heal properly.
But sometimes healing hurts.
Many times, we think that if our pain goes away, we are healed, and that the goal of their chiropractic care is to go back to our desperate lives, pain free at least.
But they sometimes find something else. They sometimes hurt more after an adjustment.
Awareness brings consequences. As we heal, as our brains reconnect with our bodies, we can sometimes become aware that there is a bigger problem than the pain.
Awareness also brings us choices.
We now have a chance to face life full on, with awareness of the good, the bad, the ugly, and the beautiful.
Many cannot stomach this awareness right away, and blame everyone and everything for the way they respond to their inner and outer environment.
We must be patient with ourselves and others during this healing process. While we must ultimately take responsibility for our choices, while we are subluxated (i.e., in a state of less light, less awareness, inflexibilty, inadaptability, holding nerve system interference), we often cannot make the right choices right away.
While we are subluxated, our ability to access our full capacity is still limited.
We must be gentle with ourselves while healing
We musn’t be hard on ourselves during the healing process, just as we musn’t be unduly harsh to others during this time.
It’s the people who are “painless,” who are disconnected from their bodies, yet who have a sense of dis-ease and dissatisfaction with their lives who are often the most dangerous to themselves and those around them.
Pain as a blessing
People who have pain symptoms at least have the blessings of awareness. There is a chance at reorganizing their patterning. But this patterning happened over a lifetime. We must have faith in the process and give ourselves the love we need to heal.
It also gives us the chance to grow in ways that we would never have been aware of without the pain.
We need inner connection desperately. That’s what chiropractic offers us.
The state of the profession
Chiropractic has earned the dubious reputation as a pain-reducing modality.
That’s because, sometimes healing reduces pain, and it looks like chiropractic is doing that.
It is actually you that is doing that.
Chiropractic is just helping your nervous system reorganize so that you can do that.
Early on, on a professional level, we lost our way.
Without going into too much history, almost form the beginning, we had egoistic infighting.
We lost faith in one another
Because we lost faith in one another, we allowed our environment — in this case, other health professionals and insurance companies — to define us.
Because of this, many of us, myself included, were and are confused as to the true benefits of what we deliver.
That’s why our messaging is often so confusing.
We are still subluxated as a profession.
Yet, with each adjustment to our profession, with each voice within us communicating the truth, we gain strength in the system that is chiropractic.
When we understand the power of the chirorpactic adjustment, when we start to have faith that we are helping facilitate healing on a profound level, we are better able to communicate with others the real promise of chiropractic.
When we do this, others respond with the innate wisdom that they need this.
The state of the world
On the supermacro level, our planet is crying out in pain. Animals are crying out in pain. Plants, rivers, mountains, are crying out in pain.
Our planet is responding like a body in a dis-ease state. She’s running a temperature. She is raising her immune system defenses (methane, ancient microbes, new, complex viruses) in order to destroy a pathogen that threatens all her life systems.
In this case, the pathogen is a cancer, a set of cells that is in runaway expansion, that is aggresively and recklessly using up all of the resources that she has evolved over the millenia that sustain life for the whole.
Guess what — or who — that pathogen is?
The state of humanity
Humanity is crying out in pain. We are cruel with one another and with ourselves. We are in denial of our sickness, and lash out angrily when confronted.
However, thankfully, we are finally waking to the realization of what we are doing, and how we can can repair the damage to ourselves and our posterity.
There is no more time to not know what chiropractic can do for us. We have to get in front of this crisis now.
Chiropractic is crucial to this process
Chiropractic care is essential to this process of healing.
We have to heal ourselves now so that we have the inner capacity to heal our planetary home.
We have to face who we are, what we are, and our power now. We have to wield our power wisely now.
Wisdom — healing — sometimes hurts. The pain is sometimes a necessary aspect of our evolution.
Chiropractic is an essential tool for speeding up this healing process, and helping us evolve into the creatures that we need to be in order to fix this hell that we have collectively created.
What ever happened to Aunt Rita?
You know, I never really knew my Aunt Rita well. She lived hundreds of kilometers away from me. I only ever saw her on summer holidays or at weddings.
But my Aunt Rita lived a life of service, one in which she cared for hundreds of children nad families in the school systems and churches of Garden City. She touched many lives whom I only know from witnessing the staggeringly long line of mourners that wrapped around the block of the school gymnasium in which her wake was held.
Aunt Rita died of skin cancer in 1998.
She she didn’t know she had it until pain got in the way of her service. By the time she felt pain, it was already too late for conventional medicine to help her.
In the absence of pain we must be vigilant
Maybe if chiropractic care played an additional role in her life, she would still be here today to serve.
It’s a question that is academic at this point; however, knowning what I know now, I have a pretty good idea that she would.
Now you know like I know
But I didn’t yet know that each chiropractic adjustment builds on the last to help the brain reorganize its patterning in order to give the mind and body the energy and resources to heal and evolve.
But now I do. And you do, too.
Spread the word, the love, and get checked and adjusted. Today.