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Image courtesy of Stuart Miles/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I’ve been thinking a lot about physical pain and my mental reaction to it. Not just because of arthritis made worse by rain and dampness but also because a friend I talked to this morning described being in chronic and bothersome pain. I know when I try to practice mindfulness with my pain it doesn’t make the pain go away—-it just helps me accept it and get beyond it if possible. It works, for me, kind of like a narcotic; the pain doesn’t go away but I just don’t care as much as I did prior to taking the pain med or practicing mindfulness. Sometimes, when pain is repetitive and excruciating (the kind that heralds, for me, the need to seek emergent medical care), mindfulness allows me to experience the pain,—-to surrender to the experience,  to cry out in anguish, to be swallowed up in the “now-ness” of the pain knowing that it is cyclical and there will be pain free moments between the bouts of pain. It allows me to practice a mantra of “Christ have mercy. God have mercy.” And He does.

However, I think some of my pain is avoidable. I think I can get caught up in the unnecessary stress of constantly hurrying and striving to get things done quickly and correctly. This leads to consequent physical problems because my mind and body are connected—-with pain being one of the most frequently occurring “red flags” that tells me I am experiencing what the following quote describes:

“Hurry sickness. You get it every time you try to do too much and think it’s still not enough. When’s the last time you simply spent a half hour with God?”

Every year I get a flu shot, so I don’t get the flu. I take vitamins daily, so I can ward off colds. I try to eat right and exercise. But all of those things will not keep me healthy if I don’t take my daily prescription for hurry sickness— at least twenty uninterrupted minutes of prayer and silence. God-time. Every day.”

Editors, Guideposts (2012-10-01). Daily Guideposts 2013 (Kindle Locations 1484-1488). Guideposts Books. Kindle Edition.

According to this quote, I suffer from “hurry sickness.” I can get so caught up in it that I forget to spend time with God and re-charge. This “hurry sickness” seems to be  a holistic illness of body, mind and spirit. As the quote points out, the best cure is the preventative medicine of spending at a specified amount of time with God on a daily basis.

Do you suffer from this malady? How do you cope with the tendency to always push yourself to hurry and get things done quickly and correctly? Please comment and share your ideas. May God bless and keep you.

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