Remember to Remember

I have found that physical pain, even more than emotional pain, can rock my foundation. It's remarkable how quickly my mind spins with "what if..." thoughts and how easily I become tangled up in doomsday scenarios. In my previous post, Trying to Find Peace with Fear, I referenced Jill Bolte Taylor, a neuroanatomist, who discovered that the lifespan of an emotion is 90 seconds. The proliferation of thoughts are what fuel an emotion and inevitably invite it to stick around for a longer period of time. My meditation practice has helped me learn to catch myself as I begin to get tangled up in thoughts, but sometimes I am unable to catch myself. I become a fly trapped in a sticky web and it can take hours, sometimes days, before I can set myself free. I wrote this poem last week when I was working with pain and my husband kindly reminded me, "An ache is just an ache."

Next week, I will share several meditation practices that have kept me afloat when working with physical pain. It's easy to become submerged in physical pain but, as you probably know, that only intensifies the suffering.

Remember to Remember

by Lauren Taub Cohen

The wine of worry is

intoxicatingly familiar

and you’d think by now

it would have lost its

ineluctable allure.

But I am addicted

to its flavor and

formidable friendship

especially when

my body is beset

with aches and pains.

Too much worrying

makes me drunk

with panic,

and I feel

trapped

like a desperate mouse

scrambling in search

of safety.

But I am

in fact

safe

and the sober truth is

an ache

is just

an ache.