I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m a bit of a masochist and that I have a bad posture. While these aren’t two things that are commonly mentioned in the same sentence, I believe you must possess both traits to consult a chiropractor, as each visit feels like you’re putting your body through a meat grinder.
That being said, I love seeing my chiropractor. The tensions I have in my neck and lower back have greatly reduced since my first visit. I truly believe that an aligned and flexible spine contributes to a great health.
I will admit though that I was startled AF by the force she used when she first corrected a misalignment. The exaggerated thought of her being able to break my neck passed my mind, which caused the panic hamster to frantically run around in my head (obviously they don’t got around breaking people’s neck. That’s just my anxiety speaking). As I laid there processing this possibility, I realized I was putting my life in a stranger’s hands (#dramaqueen), and that was somewhat frightening. However, as odd as this may sound, the experience taught me a worthy lesson in letting go and trusting people.
Choosing the path of least resistance
While not painful, the techniques employed to correct a misaligned vertebra are rather uncomfortable and my body’s natural response is to tense up. When this happens, I try to remind myself that I two choices. I can decide to resist the pressure, which would prevent me from reaping the benefits of the treatment (and possibly injuring myself). Or I can choose to let go, let my body follow the movements guided by the chiropractor and heal.
As my bones were getting cracked left and right, I found this to be an interesting metaphor for Life. We all find ourselves in difficult situations at several points in our lives. It’s inevitable. However, how we react to a situation is a choice we can make. We can decide to resist and lament about how miserable we are and unfortunately miss an opportunity for personal growth. Or we can choose to embrace the situation, seek the lesson that these hardships are trying to teach us and benefit from it. Obviously, in some situations the silver lining will be easier to spot than in others, however the lesson is always there if we’re willing to let ourselves lean into the discomfort.
Choosing to believe that not everyone is a psychopath (a.k.a. trusting others)
Just as my body’s natural tendency to discomfort is resistance, I realize that my mind’s natural response to vulnerability (thinking that my chiropractor could snap my neck) is judgment and mistrust. And while this automatic way of thinking is useful in some cases (i.e. passing that creepy guy in a dark alley should trigger suspicion), most often I find that pursing these thoughts of judgments do not serve me. While my neck rested in the hands of my chiropractor (with me brewing in mistrust and panic rising), I consciously decided to believe that she meant me no harm and that she was offering me the best she had. Ultimately, this allowed me to relax and fully receive the healing I needed.
If we continue our musings outside of the chiropractor’s office and focus on our interactions with people in general, what kind of mindset do you approach others with? If faced with a situation you label as unpleasant, do you meet people with judgment, critique (What a rude waitress! How incompetent my coworker is! Etc.) and see their actions as personal attacks? Or do you move past these automatic thoughts and wonder if this person in fact means you no harm and is doing the best they can?
Imagine for a moment how beneficial it would be in Life to approach people with the latter belief. While this is not an excuse for others to mistreat us or cross our boundaries, we sometimes need to stop the judging and give people the benefit of the doubt. Maybe they’re having a shitty day. Maybe they’re just socially awkward and that comment came out all wrong. Maybe their 110% isn’t good enough to complete the assigned task and they need help. When we pause and observe the situation in front us, we realize that most of us have good intentions and are doing the best we can with the tools we have at a given moment. Utopic? Naïve? I suppose it is but living with the opposite belief is just plain cynical and equivalent to giving up on humanity, in my opinion. Life is simply better for me when I trust.
That’s all the Life musings I had for today. Hopefully you’ve been reading this while maintaining a good posture. If not, I know a good chiropractor who can fix that 😉
Much love and hugs,
Photo credits to Beatriz Pérez Moya. Taken from Unsplash.com