“Oooww! Ow! Ow, ow, ow!”
7 of 8 repeats this mantra over and over. She says it at physical therapy. She says it when we do weight bearing exercises. She says it when we place kinesio tape on her scapula and her tricep and her forearm. She says it when I put her in her high chair when she doesn’t want to sit there. She says it if I put her in an outfit she doesn’t like. She says it if her twin comes within five feet of her.
It’s become her immediate response.
But the irony of it is that these activities don’t hurt her. She allowed us to go through all these motions for many months as we began treating the residual effects of the neonatal stroke and she never showed any discomfort, any pain. But as she’s gotten older, she’s developed opinions about our ministrations–strong opinions.
She just flat doesn’t appreciate our efforts.
And so her verbal response when we gently massage her arm, when we have her reach for an object, when we encourage her to crawl to get a little treat is, “Ow!”
I keep telling her, “It’s not ‘Ow!’…it’s ‘I don’t like this!’
Growth is uncomfortable. Stretching oneself is uncomfortable. Doing what doesn’t come easy is uncomfortable.
But not “Ow!”
I do have to fess up.
There are plenty of times that I myself confuse stretching and growth with pain. I don’t like the unsteady feeling. I don’t like the uncertainty, the sense of being out of balance. And I sometimes respond to those experiences with a resounding, “Ow!”
But it’s not, “Ow!”. It’s “I don’t like this.”
It’s difficult sometimes to tell the difference. Emotional muscles that don’t see the need for greater flexibility and strength can fight back, clawing to try to keep things status quo. Patterns and behaviors that are comfortable with their dance steps can find the process of change awkward. Leaving the familiar to head into unknown terrains can often feel like pain. But it’s really just apprehension.
That stings a little.
But it’s not “Ow!”
What are the things that make you say ‘ow!’ that are really for your own good, your own growth? How do you press beyond the discomfort and charge into change? What do you tell yourself, how do you tell the difference between true pain and true grit? Write your thoughts in a post of your own and place the url of that post and your name in the Mister Linky’s box below or leave your gems of wisdom in the comment box. Come on, it won’t hurt that much!