top of page

My pain, my teacher

As many of you know, for now almost 2 years, I have been suffering from intense chronic pain.

At the depth of the bad days, I spend most of the time not being able to move or walk. On most days, I can walk but with constant fiery pain. On great days, I can put my socks or shoes in less than 5 minutes.

I am sharing in the spirit of helping those who live with chronic illnesses and those who love us and might find it difficult to be of support.

I don't think people understand how stressful and isolating it is to explain how sick you feel when you don't always look sick on the outside.

Chronic pain, like depression or other chronic illnesses, is not always visible to others despite the fact that it might be a constant internal scream for the carriers.

For me, it has been a long internal dialogue. I am constantly torn between "I can't let this illness ruin my life" and "I have to listen to my body and rest." I mourn who, "I was," and I pray for meaning, acceptance, and healing for who I am.

Pain. My fierce teacher. How I related to it, defines me in relation to others.

It's not just the pain, it's the not knowing when and if it's going to stop, the suffering, the way people look at you as if you're fine, the medical professionals not believing you, the sometimes necessary drugs dulling of the senses, the longing to do what you used to do, the loss of mobility, the loss of dignity, the loss of self-worth, the letting down your nearest and dearest when they need you, the dark and lonely nights when sleep eludes you, the long and lonely days when movement is strenuous, AND then there's the pain on top of it all.

Chronic pain, a silent epidemic. Invisible and yet always there. In strange ways, it is like the Spirits who whisper their wisdom to me in the depth of it.

Chronic pain also showed me two things very clearly: the amazing compassion of some people you hardly know at all and the selfishness of some people you thought you knew very well.

It is a teacher who keeps literally dropping me on my knees, opening me to compassion, grace, and humbling unconditional love in unexpected places and people.

Pain is a wild territory. Understanding a wild territory requires surrendering and accepting to be fully being lost in it. No wisdom can be retrieved when we fight or refuse to meet the teacher eye to eye.

Refusing the constant fixing of healing spaces too often addicted to one version of "normality" at the detriment of a gentle slowing down and deep listening. A gentle acceptance of the unknown, the wild, the other...

Sometimes our hearts, and bodies, just need to break and do not need any fixing or healing. We do not need the medicine. As the medicine is in the crack. What if the breaking of those hearts is the healing we are looking for as a collective? Can we let that medicine be felt and received beyond the "self"?

Isn't a world where all the Hearts are cracked open, more ready to collectively heal? Isn't a world ruled by constant individual fixing and numbing, preventing us to feel, see, and hear what truly is in need of collective healing?

Softening into the wild earth of the body. Allowing the collective pain body to be fully seen, fully heard, and fully witnessed without any judgment or action yet.

Not letting the voices who refuse to feel their own pain steal your own inquiry into your wise body processes

A profound counter-cultural way to be in relation to pain.

Maybe a more authentic way where there is no other side to it, no other ways, not an idea of wellness that is constantly coming from a place of power over, power against, or an inability to fully feel what needs to be felt in each and every one of us.

A wild territory that is rich with unknown teachings for our world filled with pain and craving for wisdom and meaning.

Somehow my medicine and ways to serve have been completely empowered by this experience. Somehow I have discovered a new tender and powerful medicine in the cracks of my body and my heart.

And somehow, as I learn my relationship to pain, to the not knowing, I enter deeper territories of relationship with others.

Deeper understanding.

Without a need to fix anything.

Just to be with what is. And pray...


Angell Deer

76 views1 comment

1 Comment

Jose Bascones
Jose Bascones
Mar 09, 2023

Dear brother,  

Thank you for sharing and open up this intimate part of yourself. Reading this post transported me to the first decade of my life, where I too was suffering pain, visible (physical) and invisible (mental / emotional). I was struggling to deal with my overwhelming sensitivity and emotions; I had to endure the labelling from doctors, as misbehaving, calling for attention, unregulated middle child syndrome, etc,; while in closer environment, such family, I was often labelled as “tarao” (defected/ faulty), “loco” (crazy); rarito (weirdo). It was difficult to function and be part of my environment (family/school); and the only way I could do it is to repressed my feelings, so I ca accommodate to it, the other…


Best Value

Premium Blog Access



Every month

This gives you access to exclusive content

Valid until canceled

Access to longer format essays / blog of premium content

bottom of page