I don’t like pain. I really don’t. Most people I know also don’t like pain. It hurts!

You know what? It’s supposed to hurt. It’s supposed to motivate you to change something in your life. All symptoms do. They are messages from your body, and when you have a symptom, it means that your system has gotten to the point where it can no longer effectively adapt to the stress that you are experiencing, whether from your lifestyle, or from some event.

People sometimes say, “It just started for no reason.”

Here’s the thing. That’s NEVER the case. There is ALWAYS a reason. We just might not know what it is. And thinking that there is no reason and that the symptom shouldn’t be there can actually get in the way of healing. It can lead to ignoring the symptom, since it shouldn’t be there, which introduces no change, and therefore no opportunity to healing. It can also lead to resisting the symptom, which can create more tension and other effects from the pain or the problem.

What allows healing to take place the best is to accept that it’s happening. If you have pain, accept that you have pain. Stop resisting the existence of it. It’s there, you can’t argue that. Merely wishing it away doesn’t work. But once you accept that it is there, you can take effective action about it. You almost have to choose your pain or your symptom.

Try it the next time you have something uncomfortable in your life. Try choosing it. Try choosing the numbness in your hand, or the pain down your leg, or even the headache. The more you resist it, the worse it will get, and the harder it will be to allow your body to heal.

I injured my wrist last year. I thought it was a sprain of the soft tissues, and I based my healing on that. After 3 months, I was convinced that I shouldn’t have it anymore. And I kept operating as if it shouldn’t be there. I then got the idea that it might have been broken, and I reassessed my habits around it. I allowed for the possibility, and accepted that it could have been broken, and that it still hurt. Within a week, the pain was gone and my function was 100% restored. I’ve experimented with this idea many times, and it always seems to speed recovery as well as decrease the pain in the moment.

I’m not saying give up. I’m not saying you have to lie there and suffer. But if you can accept the pain completely and choose it powerfully, you will be surprised at the options that suddenly open up for you.