Tuesday, May 10, 2011


Everybody is fascinated by his own pain, but hardly anyone has any real interest in anyone else’s.

That’s because, obviously, no one else can really “feel your pain,” as Bill Clinton used to put it. If they could, there would no doubt be a thriving market devoted to paying people to fee your pain for you; masochists might even pay for the privilege of feeling other peoples’ pains.

And who wouldn’t lay down big bucks for the privilege of feeling the pain of some famous person; Lindsay Lohan, for instance, could probably make a fortune selling off the icky way the inside of her nasal passages feel after a night of partying.

But when it comes to your average person’s pain, like the feeling of a hot knitting needle being jabbed into your back when your bend forward, who wants that? (Not I, that’s for sure, and I’m the one who would presumably have it for sale.)

What’s interesting is that what hurts most is the space between the ends. Urdhva Danurasana or Karnipidasana, not so bad; what’s agonizing is getting between the two. Hmmm.

This suggests to me that what’s really going on, as my second favorite doctor (my dearly-departed dad, Dr. Alvin P. Shapiro, MD, may he rest in peace is number one), Dr. John Sarno would surmise is something other than physical injury; he would contend, and I would tend to agree, that my mind is manifesting this tension in my body so as to distract me from something else altogether that for one reason or another, I’m preferring not to deal with.

I spend a lot of time trying to remind myself of this: I’m obviously not injured, I’m just hurting. All I’ve got to do convince myself to stop tensing up when I get to the place where I think I’m going to feel pain, and it will all go away.

Or, alternately, if I could hire Lindsay Lohan to feel it for me.

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