Three years ago this past October, I was at a local elementary school with my daughter for her soccer team practice. After the practice ended, I went back to the gym to retrieve her water bottle. A side door to the gym that was normally closed was open. It was down a modest slope from where our car was parked.
I remember vividly what happened next. As I headed down the slope, my feet suddenly went skyward. There was a loud crack as the back of my head bounced off the concrete, followed by a throbbing pain that radiated from inside my head and a blaring mid-tone ringing noise in both ears.
Dazed and confused, I lay on the slope for a minute or so trying to make sense of what had happened. I felt around and found a large bump on the back of my head. As I tried to pick myself up, my hands touched the oily slime that covered the entire unkempt slope. Then, I understood why I had slipped on such an unassuming slope.
A kind lady who witnessed the accident came over to see if she could help. Obviously in shock herself, she told me that she was fearful for my life and offered to call 911. Still in a state of shock and denial, I declined her offer saying that I would be okay. I could not have been more wrong on that matter.
Although I declined the lady’s assistance, a part of me did intuitively know that I might be seriously injured. However, I did not know the full extent of my injuries at that time. Neither could I have anticipated all the hard work, dedication and commitment required to self-manage my rehabilitation and chronic pain.
Looking back, I have experienced many profound moments of physical and psychological growth and healing. Additionally, there have been many inspiring moments of spiritual revelation, growth and healing. When you are close to the edge, you are close to truth. Here are just a few examples:
• I experienced many spiritual healing moments and revelations while I was immersed in nature and running along the beautiful forest, mountain and ocean trails near my home, during my University of Buffalo Concussion Clinic Running Rehabilitation program and while training for the Vancouver Half-Marathon.
• As a volunteer workshop facilitator with the University of Victoria’s Chronic Pain Self-Management Program, I benefit greatly from the spiritual energy generated through the love, caring, kindness and empathy shared by our participants.
• After completing an eight-week mindfulness meditation course, I have felt the benefits of spiritual healing and peace through my daily meditation practice. Meditation has become one of my most valued self-management tools. My daily mediation practice enables me to spend more time in the present moment and less time dwelling on the past or worrying about the future, which significantly reduces chronic pain and supports my ongoing rehabilitation.
• I have experienced spiritual healing by simply looking into the eyes of the kind souls that came into my life to help me when I needed them. When you see the God in others they see the God in you.
As a result, I now realize that my spiritual awareness is key for my rehabilitation and chronic pain self-management and helps me resolve my symptoms and issues.
Although the past three years have been the most challenging years of my life thus far, they have offered me physical, mental and spiritual learning and growth opportunities that I would not have otherwise experienced.
My life has changed forever as a result of my accident and injury. However, I have concluded that my life has actually changed for the better.
I have been gifted with the knowledge and experience to serve others in need. For this, I feel blessed.
John Murphy is a volunteer Program Leader with the University of Victoria’s Centre on Aging, based in Ladner, BC. He currently facilitates their 6 week Chronic Pain Self-Management workshops (2½ hour per week) available free of charge across BC, to adults and caregivers who are dealing with chronic pain.
For more information on our Chronic Pain Self-Management workshop and other free of charge workshops, follow this link to our website:
Other Self-Management workshop and programs include:
– Arthritis and Fibromyalgia
– Chronic Disease