Last night I woke up with a sharp pain in my shoulder around 3am. It had been bothering me all day, but last night it was screaming. I don't take NSAIDs anymore because I developed a weird reaction to them, so I just laid there for over an hour, and my frantic mind started to run in a hundred different directions. Why was this happening? Was this Lyme disease coming back again? Was this arthritis? Was it a muscle injury? Why can't I get back to sleep? It quickly spiraled into a pity party for one, and then I remembered something I read about non-attachment.
It came from the yoga sutras, and it was the idea of having whatever life experience, be it a physical injury or a break up, and learning to detach from your evaluations. That is, experiencing difficult things, but not getting mentally attached to them. Because, as you probably know, when we get caught up in trying to find the root of the problem, the reason or a deeper meaning, or whatever, it can make you crazy. By letting go of obsessing about whatever it is, there comes a certain freedom. It's shrugging and saying, "It is what it is," and then moving on with your life. The yoga sutras say that non-attachment doesn't mean detachment, where you're disengaged. Rather, it is an awareness about what's physically going on, and making an active choice not to mentally get involved. So I acknowledged the pain for a moment. I truly felt it, the deep ache in my trap muscle, the scream in my deltoid, the limitation the pain put on my ability to lift my arm, and then I let it all go- not allowing myself to worry about where it came from or if the pain would still be there when I woke up. Finally, I was able to sleep.
And, coincidentally, I woke up with less pain than yesterday. So there's that.