Sitting With Pain: Psychospiritual Meanings of Neck & Lower Back Pain

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For two days in a row, I have been sitting at my desk with a very spacey mind and a very achy body. While trying to relax yesterday in the office by doing some stretches, I managed to get a stiff neck. Coupled with my inflamed sciatic nerve, I can say I’m having the time of my life.

I can’t turn my head to the left and I can’t sit for long hours without a painful reminder on the right side of my lower back. I have been taking pain killers, which I don’t like at all, and instead of getting better it seems that my body is showing me the consequences of treating myself so poorly.

As spiritual as you might know I am, I dived deep into the web and searched for potential spiritual meanings of pain. I wasn’t very surprised when I read that pain might be a result of accumulated unhealed emotions and unforgiven hurts. I narrowed down my research to “neck pain” and “lower back pain”. In a nutshell, here is what I found out:

  • neck pain: it is usually related to taking too many responsibilities (check), having a hard time making decisions (check), and going in the wrong direction (check?)
  • lower back pain: fear for my survival (check), fear of losing freedom (check), fear of material loss (double check), feelings of not being supported enough (check), the belief that one has to “have it all” and not wanting to admit it (check!)

Now I’m indeed surprised with how all of these “symptoms” match with what I have been feeling over the last month. I believe that if the symptoms persist and the painkillers are not working, then I’m probably not doing a great job on managing the way I perceive and live life right now.

The astonishing truth is that deep inside I know I haven’t. There is still a lot of work to be done within. There is still a lot to learn – perhaps not so much intellectually but practically. I already know that prolonged negative emotions lead to dysfunction and physical manifestations. I guess what I don’t know yet is how to tame my own beliefs, emotions, and actions when everything becomes overwhelmingly confusing.

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