I have been walking around for about the past month with a serious pain in my ass. Okay, it’s actually my lower back, with some sciatica pain shooting down my right leg, but it feels more fun to say it’s a pain in my ass. And it’s close anatomically anyway.
I have learned something with this pain in my general buttocks area –
No two pains are exactly the same.
I should really know this by now, but I am learning it in a new way this month. I have learned to deal (somewhat) with the pain, uncertainty and aggravation of my seizures. Even when I means I miss the train stop to normal. Most days, I am not even bothered by the things that used to destroy me emotionally, because I know my own normal. So I should be able to deal with a little pain in the ass.
But this back pain is destroying my concentration. Killing my motivation. Sapping my energy. I come home most days and I just want to collapse. Two days ago, that’s exactly what I did – I went straight to bed right after work.
But I push through and still do the things I have to do, whether that means mowing the lawn before Thanksgiving or sitting in a three-hour board meeting. I give the best I have to the world around me, but I know it’s not my typical best.
So I am learning through this pain to be more tender with everyone. Because I am reminded afresh that I have no idea what anyone is pushing through. For too long, I have operated my life assuming that everyone else is at their best, and expecting their best when they interact with me.
That’s just not true.
Somedays, all we have is the strength to push through our pain in the ass until the moment we get home. Then we collapse. Somedays, a new type of pain enters our lives, and we can barely get through. Because no two pains are exactly the same.
That picture is just scary Chris. And I’m sorry you’ve been in pain! Good advice here and you obviously have learned it all the hard way.
I find this inspiring “I push through and still do the things I have to do”. Focus and determination are so important in life. .
Maybe that was a bad choice. Seraching Flickr for “ass” is never a good thing though
i really love the authentic, realistic message of these words, chris. the world constantly barrages us with calls to be excellent in all that we do, all the time. while that’s a worthy aspiration, we humans are frail and broken. we often fall far short of excellence. and while there are instances where that is not acceptable, there are times when it’s perfectly ok. we grow weary and tired. we have an assful of pain or are between our rest and recharge moments. i really appreciate the call to simply give the best you can in the moment and be content in that. sometimes it may not be the absolute best you are capable of, but you’re still giving what you can at that moment.
good words, my friend. you should be a writer. or something.
Unfortunately, in the church these calls to excellence even have a spiritual ambiance attached, along with guilt at no extra charge. The truth is, it took me five times as long as usual to even eke these few words out onto paper.
I think if we expect ourselves to give more than our best, we are only setting up for a failure. This is why I have always hated the thought behind “giving 110%” — not only is it mathematically impossible, it’s exhausting. I am finding I just don’t have the energy for guilt too much anymore.
amen to that, brother! ain’t got time for that guilt crap. if someone takes issue with the way i choose to go about my life that says more about them than it says anything about me.
i’m trying not to guilt myself, either, though, especially when it comes to writing. like, earlier this week i wrote 700 words for fiction friday, then the next day i followed that up with no more than 100. but i told myself not to feel upset about it. i still wrote some. it’s the same way my bros and i have been approaching our web series. no, it’s not done yet. but we’re making progress, little by little. we plan to debut in february, btw. (!!!)
also, i wasn’t referring specifically to churchy folks who call for excellence, etc. that’s a pretty universal facet of life in america: work hard at excellence, jobs, etc. but, yes, despite all the talk of grace, churchy folks like to equate salvation with works. idle hands and all that.
troy mc laughlin
Chris this just made me think I hope I’m not the one who is a pain in someone’s ass. Also to realize that others are dealing with pain and to be grace to them. Thanks Chris for sharing your “pains” with us. I hope I can be better because of them.
” I give the best I have to the world around me, but I know it’s not my typical best.” Oh my, I can so relate to this. I hadn’t thought about it, but I too have been expecting everyone else to be in their top form. Not being at my ‘typical’ best lately, I should be more empathetic. I like the idea of being more tender with everyone (myself included). Thank you, Chris. There’s some real wisdom here. Grace and peace to you.
Honestly, I realized this morning as I was penning this just how often I expected the best from everyone in every moment. Even in stupid things like the person making my vanilla latte. Or the man sitting next to me on the bus ride home. Tenderness is something I lack, but I need more of it if I ever hope to represent my God well in this life.
Oh, I didn’t mean to call any person a PITA. Only my actual pain.
For the record, you are one of the more kindhearted men I have met in my life. It’s hard to picture you aggravating anyone really.
Hang in there! It gets better. I loved the title of this, made me curious and I had to check it out 🙂 Sciatica truly is pain in the ass on all accounts.
Rebeca, is that MY Rebeca Jones? I hope so…
Good for you for speaking your truth, using the language that was honest and sincere. Sometimes people in pain feel like they have to fluff it up. Well, not sometimes, most of the time
You might know this about me, but I don’t fluff well.
You can take that statement however you’d like 🙂
I took a bit of a risk with the title. I don’t typically use even mild profanity in my writing. Glad you clicked through, and thank you for the kind thoughts.
Sciatica is a bee-yotch. Mine acts up every so often and it really is a pain in the ass and everywhere else from that location on down. Hope you feel better soon!
It certainly is YOUR Rebeca, my friend! 🙂 I’m not sure what happened to my little picture thingy. (a little techie-lingo for ya) Guess I’ll have to look into it… Blessings, Christa!
I am so glad to see you have found Chris! God bless you my old far away friend
How do you know each other?
Thanks for the good thoughts, and the empathy Kim
We met about 12 years ago in a homeschool co op on the Oregon Coast 🙂