Most of the time now, when I'm awake & lying on my back, there's an electric-current-like pulsating sharp pain in some part of my left leg, either locally eg in my upper thigh, or less often, radiating down along most of the leg as if into the bones of my feet. This is known as 'sciatica.' It's sharp, jabbing, varying in intensity, really 'grabs my attention.' While sciatica is dependent on the position of my lower back (vertebrae compressing the sensory nerve to my leg), adjusting my back's position itself causes pain in the lower back, & triggers sciatica as well. Sitting involves much less sciatic pain, and standing or walking are best, though hampered by a leg brace that's fixed straight & crutches.
So what is my best option? How can I relate to pain wisely? First of all, after repeatedly changing the position of my lower back doesn't help or worsens the pain, at night I can simply be still, accept whatever pain there is, and after a while, I do fall asleep for a couple of hours. Then repeat until it's time to get up for the day. In the morning, I sit up and periodically stand up & walk about for a few minutes. Clearly, I do what is practical to directly eliminate or minimize the pain. This is simple self-care & self-compassion. After the 'doing' of simple practicalities, it's all about 'being' - authentically expressing who I am.
This is where one's worldview & self-concept (often unexamined), play a powerful role. The subconscious has a powerful (mostly hidden) influence on one's life.
If deep down, one believes that the universe is a meaningless machine, and we're but random slabs of meat, then it's natural to feel like a wounded animal, suffering alone for nothing.
On the other hand, when we sense / remember that we're profoundly at home, unconditionally loved & intimately interconnected with everyone & everything, then adversities such as pain are small, temporary lessons helping us grow stronger & wiser.
Mystics and others who've had profound direct experiences beyond this physical realm, suggest that the hardships we experience in this realm, are for the sole purpose of helping us evolve to higher levels of consciousness - ie are specifically tailored for our benefit. People who've had near death experiences (NDEs) repeatedly report that what might at the time feel like horrible events, are remembered as minor inconveniences compared to how much was learned & the ineffable benefits for ALL those involved. Three reports:
“I’ve become more relaxed, there is very rarely anything that really makes me upset.”
“There’s just a sense that everyone’s going to be OK. Everything’s happening the way everything’s supposed to be happening. And we’re all taken care of, and that it’s all perfect the way that it’s happening.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WTESmsletG4
The purpose of life is to become a 'bigger container' so we're able to get closer & closer to the Light. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8iNucPVPGw4
Wisdom tells us that after doing everything that's reasonable to directly manage the pain, continuing to focus narrowly on the pain becomes the main cause of suffering. So instead, the wisest approach now is to whole-heartedly say 'yes,' accepting (rather than arguing with) present reality, and to welcome pain with genuine curiosity. Now we can hold the pain in 'spacious awareness.' This is like the sky fully accepting rain clouds, knowing that the sky is huge & timeless, and that rain clouds are small & transient.
EVERYTHING CHANGES when we can clearly experience challenges NOT as deadly attacks, BUT as loving lessons to help us grow & evolve.
This is also the secret to true happiness as we age, as we learn an impressive number & variety of challenging life lessons.
than never feel at all.
The opposite of love’s