I have not written here for a few weeks, I have been on holiday and I have been on study leave; and I have a wrist and hand injury which prevents me from typing. And yet here I am typing!

It seems I am destined to live with a level of chronic pain. I have experienced renal pain for over a year after my child was born, I have had chronic lower back pain since 2007, and a few days before going on my family holiday I developed RSI (repetitive strain injury). I had been working really hard on my doctoral studies and there is a family crisis that I needed to deal with. With rest RSI generally lessons, and that is how it was for me-my pain disappeared on holiday. However, upon coming home and resuming my usual activities the pain has flared up and continues with me. This threw me back to where I was in 2007 in those early days of back pain-thinking that my studies were over, that I would never be able to iron or perform other household tasks again.

The experience of pain is overwhelming and every movement I make is about trying to limit the pain that may be caused and so I find myself finding new and novel ways to open the car door, turn keys, use my mobile phone…. I am relearning the techniques that I used in my early backpain days. And it’s challenging.

And so you find me here using voice recognition software the first time and it feels very strange to be speaking out loud into a microphone. However I now have hope that I shall be able to continue with my studies, I will not need to hire a personal assistant to type for me, and my voice is here again online.

The idea of karma is that we are given a life for the lessons that we need to learn. I am very aware that the life lesson for me is around self-care and self compassion, and I believe that this involves my body as well as my mind and spirit. So maybe I had become complacent with how I managed my back pain so effectively and this RSI is providing a little poke-just to remind me to keep persevering.

What meanings do you attribute to your personal, physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual pain?bereavement