Avoidance Can Harm You

“Pain in this life is not avoidable, but the pain we create avoiding pain is avoidable.” – R.D. Laing

In September of 2018, I had foot surgery to correct a painful bunion. My body had reacted badly to the way I was compensating for the pain over several years, and in June 2018, my tendons screamed STOP! I tried walking in a boot and doing physical therapy again, but this time, I had to have surgery finally. I didn’t realize that this was one stop on the road to discovering how to let go of a different kind of pain that I had been avoiding for most of my life.

The surgery went well, and I recovered in bed for several days. I was up and walking in my surgical shoe within a few days and back to work within another week. I am nearing two years since my surgery and admit there is a little pain and inflexibility in my toe, but not enough to keep me fixated on it anymore.

In Louise Hay’s Heal Your Body, issues with bunions reveal a lack of joy in meeting the experiences of life. The new thought pattern she shares is, “I joyously run forward to greet life’s wonderful experiences.” I have read this repeatedly since I learned about Louise Hay during a grief counseling session after my father passed. Today, I understand it. Today, I am taking it in. Today I am thankful for the life experiences that have brought me to this point of recognition. And now, as I continue to write and let this process of letting go of past hurts be easy and free, I am starting to feel the release that can help me to joyously run forward to greet life’s wonderful experiences.

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