A few days ago a member of one of the forums I frequent rebuked the notion of the mind-body connection. They dismissed the idea that a person invites their own physical ailments unto themselves due to their mental state or their karmic debt, as they put it. They said that any idea that claimed physical maladies, discomforts, diseases and such are anything other than circumstantial and outside of their control was without compassion. In their mind it was tantamount to saying a person deserved his or her own pain.
Personally, I am “one of those” who subscribes to the concept of the body-mind or the mind-body. So for a moment I entertained the notion of sliding my podium to front and center of the stage to defend my belief system, to fill out the card that falls from the magazine pages and renew my subscription to the mind-body concept. But I thought better of it and decided my belief system did not need defending, nor did theirs need to be “clarified”.
So of course in the midst of all this an annoying ache has taken residence in my shoulder. It keeps sending its signals of medium discomfort a short skip and a hop to the brain above. The signal is more like a tap on the shoulder (oddly enough) indicating me to pay heed to this idea I was so willing to defend, of the physical ailment being an indication of a mental state.
So online I go, traipsing around the internet looking for information regarding the metaphysical representation of shoulder pain, what mental condition this symptom is indicating. So what’s the general consensus? Carrying the weight of the world.
I manage to shrug it off, ignoring the twinge as I do so. Doesn’t really seem to apply to me.
Ahh… this is where it gets interesting. This is where I find I have been sleeping through my own sermons that I spout off to other people. In my sermons about the mind-body I have stated that the body is using another means of communicating our issues to us when we can’t seem to get it through our thick skulls. It’s analogous to being told a message while our ears are ringing, so another attempt at delivering the message is made through written letter.
This is what makes physical pain so frustrating. I wouldn’t need the pain if I just “got it” in the first place, right? Of course I’m going to deny the interpretation. Think, David… think. Am I carrying the weight of the world? No, I’ve been pretty easy going as of late. Not feeling any pressure. Not taking things personally…
And therein lies the issue. If I look hard enough, I can see the times people have frustrated me, but here in the gym of spiritual growth I’m trying to lift more than I have worked up to. I’m trying to “allow” people to be frustrating and saying “it’s okay for them to be how they are”… and it actually is! The problem… it somehow doesn’t seem to be okay for me to be frustrated with people. So I carry that weight. I carry the weight of their expressed angst. I do it with a smile when it’s straining the crap out of my neck and shoulders. Or perhaps it’s a case of repetitive stress syndrome from continually shrugging off the behavior of others that I would tend to find difficult to tolerate.
Back to the gym with my spirituality. Let’s work on that shoulder.